EDGERLY, La. (KPLC) - Big Woods Cemetery in Edgerly is part of Southwest Louisiana’s history. Founded in 1827, it’s one of the oldest cemeteries in the state, but that didn’t stop Hurricane Laura from unleashing her fury.
“They’re everywhere,” says Patricia Hantz. “My family is all over here.”
Hantz and her family knew they couldn’t ignore the damage Hurricane Laura inflicted on Big Woods Cemetery.
“It’s terrible. I mean, there’s trees on graves, and it’s just terrible. I just felt like I needed to try to do something. We’ve been cutting the limbs.”
They haven’t just been cutting trees around family member’s graves, but they have been cutting trees around graves of friends and people they’ve never met.
“That’s something you don’t see every day anymore,” says John Doucet.
Doucet helps his father care for their loved ones graves at Big Woods, but he says even with the downed trees and debris, the historic cemetery already looks better than it did in the days after the storm.
“The main road was completely blocked. You couldn’t get in, but we were fortunate. None of ours got damaged.”
Doucet says he’s happy to see those that were damaged are being blessed by the kindness of strangers.
In addition to clearing debris, Hantz has spent time checking on graves for families that haven’t been able to travel to Edgerly. She says her family plans to continue their cleanup efforts, and she hopes others will volunteer.