ST. CHARLES PARISH (WVUE) – With one week before the start of hurricane season, many are still recovering from Hurricane Ida and concerned about what this year may bring.
For homeowner and landlord John Landry, it was a call he didn’t expect to receive from his insurance company.
“She said are you sitting down? I saw well, I can. She said your insurance went up three times what it was last year,” said Landry. “I was like shocked. I said are you serious?”
Landry said his home insurance bill is tripling this year, and that doesn’t include what he has to pay for flood insurance or the mortgage.
“I’m gonna have to increase the rent. I probably won’t be able to increase it for the whole amount but I’m gonna have to start doing that. I haven’t increased his rent probably in at least seven years,” he said.
It’s one of the many challenges residents in hurricane-affected areas are now dealing with as the start of a new hurricane season nears, and many are still trying to rebuild.
“Once Ida hit, we looked at the house and it’s pretty much destroyed,” said Megan Edsall, Luling resident.
She said her home was a total gut job inside and out following Ida. The exterior of her home still doesn’t have siding or windows. And like many others, she said she’s still fighting with her insurance company.
“It becomes a financial burden that you were unaware of,” she said. “It kind of comes up on you real quick and you know now you have to worry about ok how are we gonna pay this bill that could be thousands of dollars?”
It’s a concern that parish leaders are aware of.
St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell said rising prices of insurance and building supplies make it harder for people to plan ahead.
“We’re willing to put up with the hurricanes but if we can’t afford to live here that’s gonna be a big concern for a lot of people but I have hope for the future,” he said.
Jewell said he’s working with other parish presidents and state lawmakers to lobby for changes on the federal level that could help residents continue to be resilient in Southeast Louisiana. But for residents still going through it, it’s becoming harder and harder to be just that– resilient.
“It’s stressful and frustrating, but we’re hoping that we at least have an exterior to our home before a hurricane hits,” said Edsall.
“If you got a home you’re still paying on and you get hit with an insurance bill that triples?– that’s not easy,” said Landry.
Jewell said he feels confident going into hurricane season that his parish is prepared.
Next week, St. Charles Parish officials– including the school board, sheriff’s office and fire department– plan to meet on Tuesday, May 31, to discuss preparations and updates for this year’s hurricane season.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click Here to report it. Please include the headline.
Copyright 2022 WVUE. All rights reserved.