hurricane rita

Cypress trees in Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, stretching across Cameron and Evangeline Parishes in southwestern Louisiana.
Steve Hillebrand / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Hurricane Rita came ashore just three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, killing seven people directly and over a hundred more in the evacuation and in the storm's aftermath.

Ten years later, many residents of southwest Louisiana are feeling forgotten as the international media spotlight stays focused on New Orleans.

On Rita Anniversary, Story Of A Small Town Comeback

Sep 24, 2014
Ed Lallo / Louisiana Seafood News

Wednesday marks the nine-year anniversary of Hurricane Rita's landfall in Texas, and the flooding of the Louisiana coast. Western parishes like Cameron, Vermilion and Iberia were hit hard. Plus, Rita added a whole new layer to the unprecedented damage of Katrina and the floods of just a few weeks prior.

A state-run insurance company of last resort has agreed to settle two remaining class-action lawsuits tied to claims handled after hurricanes Katrina and Rita for $61 million.

The board for the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. voted unanimously Thursday to settle the long-running lawsuits. Policyholders sued the company over the slow handling of claims after the hurricanes struck in 2005.

The board also authorized company CEO Richard Robertson to put a cap of $4,500 per claim.

Homeowners will pay $54 on average next year on their insurance policies to cover bond payments being made by state-backed Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which had to borrow nearly $1 billion to pay claims from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The board voted Thursday to impose a 3.74 percent assessment on all commercial and personal policyholders in the state starting Jan. 1.

Transcript

LIANE HANSEN, host:

Renewed flooding and widespread power outages spread across New Orleans as Hurricane Rita blew through the Gulf Coast. But for a city already reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the damage from Rita was far less than feared. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports from New Orleans.

CHERYL CORLEY reporting: