7.13.2017

Pointe à la Hache /ˈpɔɪnt ləˈhæʃ/ is a census-designated place (CDP) and unincorporated community in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, the village has been the seat for Plaquemines Parish since the formation of the parish. As of the 2010 census, its population was 187,[2] less than half its 1930 population. It suffered severe damage in hurricanes in 2005 and 2011. The Pointe à la Hache Ferry, which connects to West Pointe à la Hache, Louisiana across the Mississippi, is the furthest downriver vehicle crossing point on the river.

Plaquemines Parish was one of the original 19 divisions of the Territory of Orleans established in 1807 after the United States acquired the territory in the Louisiana Purchase. After Louisiana achieved U.S. statehood in 1812, it was one of the original state parishes. In the 1812 Louisiana hurricane, a storm surge from the Gulf pushed all the way into the River, and there was widespread death and destruction.- The area has always been subject to seasonal hurricane damage, with some years worse than others. The 1915 New Orleans Hurricane devastated the area, breaching levees and flooding the region. Thirty-one persons died in Pointe à la Hache.[3] The Parish Courthouse was destroyed, but some of its material was salvaged for reuse in the new Courthouse completed the same year. Pointe à la Hache once had several beautiful old homes and historic businesses, most of which have been lost to hurricane and flooding damage. The 1930 census recorded a population of 404 in the community.- In 1965 Hurricane Betsy damaged the area, flooding the courthouse.[4] More than 50 people rode out the storm in the courthouse. All survived.- During January 12, 2002 the parish courthouse was severely damaged by arson. Since then, the parish government has used several temporary buildings in Belle Chasse. The Plaquemines Parish Council has proposed to move the parish seat three times, but voters rejected the alternatives. Pointe à la Hache was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.- On Mardi Gras Day 2011, the Mississippi River broke through its east bank about five miles below Pointe à la Hache. This breach has resulted in sediment-rich flow of the river into the wetlands, what coastal advocates have called a “cost-free” sediment diversion. Such sediment restoration in the wetlands is "a key strategy of the state’s $50-billion Master Plan to reverse coastal land losses."-[5] By 2014 this breach had been named Mardi Gras Pass by the US Coast Guard. In July 2014 LADOT requested that the US Board on Geographic Names formally name the pass. It is the first distributary to have developed in the river's delta in decades and is considered important for natural rebuilding of the wetlands. Sundown Energy wanted to close the crevasse because it hampered the company's access to oil and gas wells, but alternatives are being negotiated.[6]- - After the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, dead fish were found floating in the waterways even north of Pointe à la Hache.[7]- As of early 2012, only a small number of people have returned to live full-time in the parish seat. West Pointe à la Hache flooded again during Tropical Storm Isaac on August 28–29, 2012.
Fish floating in waterways near Pointe a la Hache in June 2010.

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