Lafitte Tombs, Caskets Washed Away By Hurricane Ida
By Sarah Tate
September 7, 2021
Several tombs and caskets has been disturbed and others completely washed away after Hurricane Ida hit southeast Louisiana August 29.
In Lafitte, many residents' final resting places have gone missing or become dislodged after the Category 4 hurricane rocked the region just over a week ago, WWL-TV reports.
"It's a disaster to see it the way it is," said Norman Bouisse, who lives next to Lafitte's Adams Cemetery.
While speaking with the news outlet, Bouisse pointed out some of the damage left behind.
"You can see it's leaning," he motioned to a grave. "Pretty much every time we get high water most of the graves pop out and they have to put them back in place. It's been like that for years."
Troy Bolotte was helping his uncle clean out his home near Coulon Cemetery when he noticed the disturbed graves. He told WWL-TV that graves were on top of each other and some had washed away into nearby residents' yards.
"Usually for a big storm like this, the water pressure," he said, "because the coffins are water tight, the water pushes them up because of that trapped air that's in it, they start floating after a while."
The Louisiana Cemetery Task Force believes six cemeteries were impacted by the storms, four in Lafitte and two in Plaquemines Parish. They are working to locate the missing caskets, finding between 15 to 20 out of place while flying over cemeteries on Thursday (September 2). However, that number is expected to rise as they assess the damage on the ground.
Sadly, this isn't the first time tombs and caskets have been washed away by powerful storms. Hundreds of caskets were displaced along Louisiana's western coast after Hurricane Laura, leading to the Department of Justice's efforts to recover, identify and return caskets where they belong.