Bayou Gauche Resident Explains Why He’s Riding Out Catastrophic Hurricane Ida
As Hurricane Ida barrels into the southeastern Louisiana coastline, one Bayou Gauche resident says he's not going anywhere.
WWL's Kristian Garic caught up with Randy Dufrene just before Hurricane Ida made landfall around noon on Sunday. Dufrene is a lifelong resident of Bayou Gauche and says that he plans to do what he's done for every hurricane over the last 62 years and ride out the storm.
To give you a good idea of where Dufrene is located, here is a map that shows Bayou Gauche (pin drop) in comparison to New Orleans, Houma, and the Grand Isle/Port Fourchon area where Hurricane Ida made landfall.
Bayou Gauche is a small community that is known as a fishing village with an adjacent natural bayou and wetlands. It is located in St. Charles Parish, in one of the southeasternmost parts of Louisiana.
Dufrene lives literally steps away from the water and he tells Kristian Garic that he plans on riding out Ida just like he did at least three major storms before her. Garic asked if he was concerned by the 12-16 foot storm surge, but Dufrene feels like he'll only see about 2 feet of water outside of his home.
Dufrene said that he's never had water in his home, even when he rode out past storms like Camille and Betsy. Ida has already proven to be stronger than those storms with winds beyond 150 miles per hour at an intense Category 4 hurricane.
The Bayou Plauche man says that he's prepared for the storm with food that can last him about a "week and a half." If things get too intense, Dufrene tells Garic that he's got 5 boats that he will count on to get him out of trouble and he's more than capable of "throwing his line out" to catch catfish or bass nearby.
As you can see in this video, he's more than confident—saying he knows it will be scary, but the Lord is on his side.
As for the main reason that Dufrene decided to ride out the storm, he said what a lot of others have cited as the reason why they were willing to risk their lives instead of evacuating. Dufrene told Garic he was worried to leave because he didn't want anyone to steal his stuff.
As a matter of fact, the replies on this post shows that Dufrene isn't alone in his thinking as the fear of being looted or robbed was at the top of the list along with lack of funds as to why people chose to ride out the storm instead of evacuating for Hurricane Ida.
Dufrene said he's got lots of tools, and that's what he's most afraid will be stolen if he was to leave his home. You could sense the pride he had in the things he owned and the fact that he was such a hard worker, despite the adversity he's faced in life.
He knocked on his prosthetic leg, telling Garic that he had an accident when he was 9 years old involving a large boat propeller, but it hasn't stopped him from doing what it takes to make it in life.
We're wishing Randy the best, and will be checking in on him as Ida is packing a serious punch for our neighbors to the southeast.