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On Rita Anniversary, Story Of A Small Town Comeback

Ed Lallo
Louisiana Seafood News
Shrimp boats in Delcambre, Louisiana, where customers can buy seafood from the dock through Delcambre Direct Seafood

Wednesday marks the nine-year anniversary of Hurricane Rita's landfall in Texas, and the flooding of the Louisiana coast. Western parishes like Cameron, Vermilion and Iberia were hit hard. Plus, Rita added a whole new layer to the unprecedented damage of Katrina and the floods of just a few weeks prior.

The small town of Delcambre, Louisiana, is home to about 2,000 people. It  sits on a canal leading to Vermilion Bay in the Gulf of Mexico, and pretty much all of its homes and businesses were flooded in the storm surge of Hurricane Rita, the fourth most intense Atlantic hurricane on record.

Delcambre was hit again a few years later by Hurricane Ike. In 2011, I first visited Delcambre for the radio show Marketplace, to learn more about its direct sales seafood program.

This month Delcambrecut the ribbon on a new complex to help grow its seafood business, with better recreational fishing and commercial fishing facilities. It was a good chance to catch up with Port of Delcambre Director Wendell Verrett about the town's progress, and its changing mentality, since Hurricane Rita.