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LOUISIANA – Since Hurricane Ida made landfall in August the majority of people’s power has been restored, but the process of reconstructing their homes and communities is just beginning.

One Louisiana resident just got her power back, meaning her family went three weeks without air conditioning in some of the hottest and most humid weeks of the year.

Rhonda Blaum of Covington, Louisiana said the storm damage left her family’s house with more than two feet of water and six fallen pine trees. Luckily, none of the trees hit any structures.

Blaum’s house has been gutted and dehumidifiers are drying up the home before they can start the reconstruction process. She said one of the biggest obstacles they have faced is price gauging. The cost to remove their pine trees would normally be around $700 each, but the estimates they’ve received are for over $15,000 per tree.

Blaum worries the road to a full recovery could take years. “The recovery efforts when you lost that enormous amount of community takes years ongoing to rebuild infrastructures, communities, neighborhoods, homes, and schools. It’s very daunting,” said Blaum.

Many Louisiana residents are also still without trash pickup. Debris and trash still line the sides of the roads and yards.

Despite the long road ahead for many people, Blaum is hopeful the resiliency of Louisiana residents will be key in rebuilding their community.