GOLDEN MEADOW — Lafourche Parish seemed to have been largely spared from widespread damage after taking a direct hit from Hurricane Isaac.
“It’s not nearly as bad as we thought it would be,” said Chris Moran, owner of Moran’s Marina in Fourchon, just a few miles from where Isaac made its second landfall about 2:15 a.m. Wednesday after an initial landfall in Plaquemines Parish.
Few camps in the area appeared to have suffered significant damage, Moran said.
Moran said his marina fared well enough that he planned to re-open his store and deli on Friday, though a bit more cleanup is needed for the restaurant and some of the other facilities.
“The biggest thing is we don’t have any buildings with a big hole in the side of them,” he said. “We’ll have it looking good by Sunday or Monday.”
In Grand Isle, parts of the island were covered with 4 feet to 6 feet of water, but most camps, homes and businesses are elevated and major structural damage seems to have been limited to sporadic roof damage and blown off siding, said Dodie Vegas, owner of Bridge Side Marina.
“I wouldn’t say anything major,” she said. “... We did pretty well on the island.”
Vegas said most of the water had receded by 7 p.m. Thursday, but access to the island was restricted because several areas along La. 1 had partially washed out between Fourchon and Grand Isle.
La. 1 remain closed Thursday south of Golden Meadow, and one portion of the highway was closed between Lockport and Golden Meadow while crews worked to removed downed power lines from the road.
Despite the lack of widespread wind damage to homes and businesses, most of south Lafourche Parish remained without electricity on Thursday.
About 60 percent of the parish was without power when the storm cleared Thursday morning, according to an estimate from the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Golden Meadow, about 20 miles from the coast, withstood the wind and was spared from storm surge by a large ring levee that protects much of south Lafourche Parish.
The only lights in the town were powered by generators, and gasoline was in short supply.
Golden Meadow Mayor Joey Bouziga said only one of the three gas stations in town was operational.
At 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the line of vehicles waiting to fill up there was 30 deep.
“We started out at 7,000 gallons (Thursday morning) and we have 500 gallons left,” said Lindberg Lorraine, who was helping man the pumps for a relative who owns the store.
At Golden Meadow True Value Hardware, residents were trickling in for electrical connectors, gas cans and other generator supplies in preparation for a few days without electricity.
Store owner Miles Bouvier ran a few lights and calculators off his own generator, hand tabulating bills because he did not want to risk running a computerized register with unstable power.
Like many people in town, he was surprised by just how long Isaac lingered over the area.
“The eye stayed on Golden Meadow for three to four hours,” he said.
Bouziga said his one concern about the lack of major damage in town was that residents might dismiss the destructive potential of future hurricanes.
“I just hope we don’t take it lightly,” he said.
“Every storm scares me. You don’t know what it’s going to bring.”
Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rebecca Hebert said that parishwide, there were few reports of major structural damage, but full damage assessments had not been completed as of Thursday afternoon.
She said there was a concern about heavy rains in the wake of Isaac pounding the Thibodaux area on Thursday.