The town of Louisiana is still littered with coffins containing bodies about four weeks after being washed away from the burial vault by an extratropical cyclone flood.
Rev. Haywood Johnson of St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church in Ironton, 25 miles southeast of New Orleans, told CNN that the casket had not yet been returned to the burial ground as the community was desperately trying to rebuild it.
Burial sites around New Orleans are usually very shallow due to the very high groundwater levels, and caskets are often placed in vaults and tombs above the ground.
However, floods from Hurricane Aida struck the area at the end of August, causing many caskets to be washed out of the vault and still scattered throughout the town.
Johnson pointed out a pair of father-daughter caskets that were next to each other in someone’s front yard.
While another casket was seen upside down against a nearby embankment, a funeral vault weighing thousands of pounds was washed about 3,000 feet before reaching directly in front of the church.
Johnson said he was still looking for his mother, uncle, and sister’s casket.
The town of Louisiana is still littered with caskets filled with human remains after hurricane Ida heads inland.
The casket may look upside down against a nearby embankment
The search for caskets tied to ground tombs and made of cement and other heavy materials is further complicated by mud, tall grass and snakes.
Haywood Johnson, a town church minister, says the casket he buried was taken away from the graveyard and spread throughout the community.
“It confused people,” Johnson told CNN.
“They were shocked by the magnitude of the destruction, but they were even more overwhelmed by the fact that their loved ones floated and landed on the streets and in the gardens of the people, landing on the side of the embankment and in the open air, and it was. It’s just overwhelming. “
“What bothered me was that I buried most of those people, most of the deceased, and it was like pulling a scab from a wound,” Johnson added.
Johnson told CNN that the search for the missing casket was further complicated by mud, tall grass and snakes.
According to Ryan Sideman, chairman of the Louisiana Cemetery Task Force, it is estimated that 30 to 50 caskets were moved during the flood.
According to NPR, after Hurricane Katrina moved about a thousand caskets in 2005, Louisiana now requires some form of identification, such as plaque, on all caskets.
Many caskets are weighed with cement and other heavy materials, which do not always help with the raging floods caused by hurricanes.
FEMA offers families up to $ 8,000 to help them properly backfill their loved ones.
Mud and debris surround a damaged house in Ironton, Louisiana, September 19
St. Paul’s missionary Baptist Rev. Haywood Johnson, photographed in a flood-damaged church, said he was still looking for his mother, uncle, and sister’s casket.
A funeral vault weighing thousands of pounds (pictured) moved nearly 3,000 feet away before reaching directly in front of the church.
Ironton’s predominantly black community has a population of 175 and is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, downstream of the Plaquemines Parish.
Residents are calling on the federal government to support the reconstruction process in needy areas. After Ida’s destructive road, WDSU report.
“We just want to know what’s going on. When will these projects start? So residents can come in and try to recover some of their property.” Major Tracy Riley said.
The Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans said the town’s embankment worked as designed, but the high altitude around Ironton provided optimal conditions for flooding.
Ricky Boyette, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, said:
The Venice project has been going on for years, but the contract for the embankment project from New Orleans to Venice is currently being bid on.
Boyet told Fox 8 Live that the embankment system downstream of Plaquemins should be raised to federal standards.
Ironton-based Kornell Davis (pictured) walks through the Ironton Cemetery on Sunday, September 19, still covered in wetland mud.
On Tuesday, members of the Louisiana Cemetery Task Force were in Ironton to investigate the devastation and determine the equipment and tools needed to retrieve the missing casket.
A staging area was also created so that the body could be properly identified before returning to the final resting place.
“It’s impossible without heavy equipment,” said Ryan Sideman, chairman of the Task Force, adding that some caskets and their vaults weighed tons.
“I was kneeling when I was out in this community graveyard, so I found a crane or other kind of purchase. [machinery] Getting a hold and being able to lift these heavy weights will be a challenge, “he said.
Even weeks after being washed away from the tomb by the hurricane “Ida,” the caskets were scattered throughout the town of Louisiana.
Source link Even weeks after being washed away from the tomb by the hurricane “Ida,” the caskets were scattered throughout the town of Louisiana.