By Ken Wells
With a protracted and colourful kin background of defying storms, the seafaring Robin cousins of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, make a fateful choice to journey out typhoon Katrina on their hand-built fishing boats in a sheltered Civil War–era harbor referred to as Violet Canal. but if Violet is overrun via killer surges, the Robins needs to summon all their braveness, seamanship, and crafty to save lots of themselves and the rankings of others without warning forged into their care.
In this gripping saga, Louisiana local Ken Wells offers a close-up examine the harrowing studies within the backwaters of latest Orleans in the course of and after Katrina. concentrating on the plight of the intrepid Robin relations, whose participants hint their neighborhood roots to prior to the yankee Revolution, Wells recounts the landfall of the hurricane and the tumultuous seventy-two hours in a while, whilst the Robins’ cherished bayou kingdom lay catastrophically flooded and all yet forgotten through outdoor professionals as the world concentrated its recognition on New Orleans. Wells follows his characters for greater than years as they attempt, amid mind-boggling wreckage and governmental fecklessness, to rebuild their shattered lives. it is a tale concerning the deep eager for domestic and a proud bayou people’s love of the fertile yet imperiled low kingdom that has nourished them.
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Extra resources for The Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayous: Fighting to Save a Way of Life in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina
The last meaningful hurricane to strike Yscloskey, Hurricane Betsy in 1965, had pushed four- to six-foot tides across the place, and no one could imagine a storm delivering more water than that. The new elevation ought to provide plenty of freeboard; Ricky could tie down the Lil’ Rick to a dock in the bayou seventy-ﬁve yards away, and keep an eye on the boat from the rear window of his house. But Yscloskey, permanent home to about two hundred, sits outside St. Bernard Parish’s ﬂood protection levees, and Ricky, who had been out shrimping two days before the storm, began to feel uneasy as he listened to Katrina-tracking reports.
South Louisiana itself then was a notorious pirate haven, and no wonder. The St. Bernard estuary was an untrammeled, in parts uncharted wilderness, a labyrinth of unpopulated barrier islands, sinewy bayous, sprawling marshes, all ringed on the west and north by an almost impenetrable moss-draped cypress swamp full of alligators and poisonous snakes. It lay an easy day sail northeast of Barataria, itself a marshy, mysterious complex of islands, bayous, and bays that, shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, became the lair and fortress of the pirate Jean Laﬁtte.
Their harrowing escape is the most detailed of their ancestral storm narratives, but hardly the only one. , their ﬁrst Louisiana forebear, pitched up on this marshy coast sometime before 1776. To understand the Robins, the other captains who 36 The Storm kept watch at Violet Canal, and the residents clustered in their nearby houses, it’s helpful to know the wider, colorful history of St. Bernard Parish and the pioneering people who came to inhabit its lower coasts. By many measurements, it has long been—and still remains—a place apart.