Bayou Corne residents demand response from Gov. Jindal
POSTED: Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 9:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 28, 2012 - 12:36pm
ASSUMPTION PARISH (NBC33) — Bayou Corne residents say they are tired of begging to see Governor Bobby Jindal.
"Mr. Jindal you can not continue to ignore this disaster ignore this community," John Achee, Bayou Corne community activist, exclaimed. "You have a community that is pleading for your help and pleading for your leadership. You need to step up and be a leader. You were elected to be a leader of this state you need to act like it."
Achee along with many other community members sent emails, made phone calls, even created social media groups requesting the governor come visit.
"It's unbelievable that in almost five months since the sinkhole has happened we have not seen the governor one single time. We haven't heard a word from him. We haven't heard a peep," Achee explained.
Community members decided it was time to take action. The governor attended a press conference in St. James Parish, on Friday, only a few miles away from the massive sinkhole that forced so many people out of their homes.
Residents lined the roadways near the press conference holding signs referencing the sinkhole situation.
"We thought we could get his attention. He'd at least come by and tell us where we can go from here try to help us move on with our lives," Randy Rousseau, protest participant, said.
Governor Jindal's car passed by the picketers but never stopped.
"He didn't even acknowledge us standing there. All we wanted him to do was acknowledge us," Kenny Simoneaux, Bayou Corne resident, stated.
"Any response would have been better than going forty miles an hour," Achee agreed.
Residents say it was a slap in the face.
"We're expendable for business. Residents are just expendable units. I imagine that's why they invented liquid paper to paint over our names like we were never there," Simoneaux exclaimed.
"It's very frustrating," Rousseau described the situation. "It's like where else do we go. I mean we've contacted every public official we can. Most of the give us the time of day and answer our questions. He's avoided us the who process, and we don't know why. We really want to know why that's the question."
Achee says the group is not going to give up trying to help their community.
"We will do protests. We've talked about going to the state capital, and we plan on doing that," Achee affirmed. "I mean we'll do what it takes until we can get the attention of this governor."
It could be at least six months before people can go back home. Residents say without the governor's help it could take much longer.
"We need to move on with our lives. None of us feel safe going back there. It's just not a good atmosphere. We need to move on. We need to know what he can do to help us move on. He's supposed to be for the people his people need him now, need him bad," Rousseau believes.
"Why don't you stand up for us. Our homes are being destroyed. Our futures are gone. The Mayans are correct. Life as we know it has come to the end. somebody needs to stand up for us," Simoneaux expressed. "Total destruction of 150 homes. People's dreams, the American dream is getting pushed under. It's time for America to wake up. "
"As you enjoy your Christmas in the mansion you need to know that these people will be having their Christmas in campers and rent houses merry Christmas Governor," Achee said.
Click here for more information on the resident's social media petition.
NBC33 tried to reach the governor's office for comment on this story. NBC33 did not receive a response by time of publication.