Much has already been said concerning the resiliency of South Louisianans in the face of adversity. Still bearing the scars from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Grand Bayou Village has also had to endure the oil spill debacle that nearly wiped out the local fishing industry, depriving many of their livelihood and means to provide for their families. More recently came the fury of hurricane Isaac, rolling up the bayou like a juggernaut seeking to destroy everything in its path. The resulting devastation believed to have been more destructive even than the wreckage left behind by Katrina. But, until you experience it firsthand it is impossible to fully grasp the determination exhibited by the local residents.
On the day of my visit, large piles of debris lined the canal, waiting for the long-overdue cleanup promised by authorities after the deluge. Even so, there were children playing along the banks as if it was all they knew. Indeed, for some it is since they were born just before or after Katrina’s devilish visit to the bayou. Today, their spirits bolstered by the fact that one of the first to return to the disconsolate area was the pastor and community leader, the united inhabitants of Grand Bayou stand resolute as ever against the threats of hell and high water. They have survived both on more than one occasion. They will remain. They will endure. They will prosper.