Louisiana High School Sports Meet a Mighty Opponent: Climate Change

“I’ll take this over Katrina,” mentioned Fitte, a former star operating again on the faculty. “We’re looking at a couple weeks at most coming back because we don’t have electricity. After Katrina, people didn’t have houses. All you could see was the foundations.”

Still, Buras is precariously located. Highway 23 is flanked by the Mississippi on one aspect and the encroaching Gulf on the opposite. What was as soon as marshland is now more and more open water, the results of canals dug to succeed in oil rigs, levees that forestall replenishing sediment from the river and the pounding of hurricanes. At the native cemetery, a dozen or so coffins that floated away throughout Katrina stay encased in concrete and strapped to the bottom, aspect by aspect like piano keys, numbered with spray paint in case they wash away once more.

“If another Katrina hits, I don’t see anything coming back down here,” mentioned Mark Cognevich, the council president of Plaquemines Parish. “Not many people have insurance. Most live check to check. I don’t think the federal government will pour money into it like they did after Katrina. They might not let anybody move down here.”

Perhaps no highschool within the state has felt the brunt of hurricanes extra severely than South Cameron High School in southwest Louisiana. The Mighty Tarpons reached the state championship soccer sport 4 occasions from 1969 to 1996. But soccer was deserted throughout the 2018 season after South Cameron forfeited two video games and completed a third with the minimal of 11 gamers.

The inhabitants in Cameron Parish has declined from about 10,000 residents in 2000 to fewer than 6,000 right this moment, in keeping with the newest census figures. An exodus adopted the scything by Hurricanes Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008. Some residents had been delay by constructing codes requiring properties to be constructed 12 to 14 toes off the bottom and by prohibitive insurance coverage prices. Some grew fatigued by the storms, which, at one level, left college students at South Cameron attending classes in a bingo hall.

Last yr, Laura’s punishing surge wrecked all of South Cameron High School’s sports activities amenities. The 2021-22 faculty yr opened with solely 40 college students enrolled in the highschool. Parry LaLande, who coached soccer at South Cameron for 28 years, has urged the varsity to consolidate with Grand Lake High School, situated 15 miles inland on a ridge and considerably safer from storm surge. Grand Lake reached the state soccer championship sport final season regardless of not having a house discipline. It additionally performed within the baseball title sport.

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