Terrebonne sheriff cuts red tape to give homes to deputies in Ida’s aftermath

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 9:23 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Captain Peter Guidry wasn’t planning to run for office, but building a trailer community from the ground up requires some ground rules.

Thanks to an initiative by Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet, and a willingness to cut through some red tape, Guidry and other deputies can stay in the parish now they have roofs over their heads once again.

The new trailer community affectionately refers to Capt. Guidry as “mayor”.

“Just make sure my people are happy and they are,” said Guidry.

Guidry is one of the 35 deputies at the Terrebonne parish sheriff’s office who found himself homeless following Ida’s devastation. But he’s also one of the first responders the parish couldn’t afford to lose.

“Food, water, supplies, cleaning supplies... and it’s been going out to the community since probably day three after the storm,” said Guidry.

Guidry says that the makeshift mobile community has been a creative solution by Sheriff Soignet.

“Absolutely, when he came up with the idea I said like that it’s a “no-brainer”. It’s good for his people and it is, we can’t ask for anything better,” Guidry said.

Now his home, one of the 29 trailers on this sheriff’s office-owned lot has all the amenities of home.

“I know my boss likes it because I’m always at work,” Guidry said. “It was amazing for morale and the sheriff came up with the idea.”

The sheriff says he came up with the idea for this camp just days after the storm, his own department helping to stand it up.

After the storm, Sheriff Tim Soignet says he saw the writing on the wall.

So he says he spent 800 thousand dollars from an emergency fund, to be reimbursed by FEMA, to protect his best resource.

“I don’t want them to go to Baton Rouge, I don’t want them to go to Lafayette… this is a cross I chose to carry,” Soignet said.

“For me to keep them motivated and keep them building... this is what we do this is South Louisiana,” said Soignet.

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