In flooded Louisiana city, even modest recovery raises hope

Bayou View Elementary School second grader Ethan Borderon, 8, and other classmates load cleaning supplies for flood victims in Louisiana. (John Fitzhugh, The Sun Herald via AP)
Bayou View Elementary School second grader Ethan Borderon, 8, and other classmates load cleaning supplies for flood victims in Louisiana. (John Fitzhugh, The Sun Herald via AP)

Denham Springs — Even the most modest signs of recovery are lifting weary spirits in Denham Springs, a Baton Rouge suburb at the epicentre of the catastrophic flooding in south Louisiana.

Floodwaters damaged an estimated 90% of homes and businesses in the city, but Mayor Gerard Landry and many residents already see some progress.

Denham Springs High School remains closed, but its football team and band are practicing for the season-opening home game. Crews are removing mounds of rancid debris from curbs and yards. Postal workers are delivering mail again. Insurance adjusters are inspecting gutted houses. A fast-food restaurant reopened near the interstate.

The mayor says residents are yearning for "normalcy," but they face a daunting path to recovery. Many property owners in Denham Springs didn't have flood insurance.

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