How Louisiana Communities Are Navigating Hurricane Recovery During a Pandemic

Hurricane Laura was one of the strongest storms to hit Louisiana in over 150 years. It was also the first major hurricane to make landfall on U.S. shores during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 15 years after the devastating blow of Hurricane Rita, these overlapping disasters have left residents of southwest Louisiana in the lurch, forced to navigate complicated bureaucracies and a lack of resources as they attempt to put the pieces back together.

What happens when polling places close because precincts are damaged from the storm? How does virtual school go on while there are widespread internet outages? When can families return safely to their homes? What happens when another storm hits, just weeks later?

This series, published by Southerly, seeks to answer these questions by following residents of southwest Louisiana through the first months of the recovery process.