Tyler Rivet’s hometown of Raceland, La., was hit badly by Hurricane Ida. The highest recorded winds in town were 174 mph. A pile of debris lies near the street leading to his mother’s home.
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Rivet, his mother, stepdad, grandmother and great grandmother hunkered down in the house for about 12 hours as Ida passed.
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Rivet posted this weather radar shot as Ida approached. Living through years of storms that skirted past, Rivet said it was the most frightening storm he’d ever experienced as the eye passed close by.
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The home lost power by noon on Aug. 29. Ida left a path of destruction all the way to the East Coast, and early estimates of $95 billion in damage could make it the costliest hurricane since 2000.
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At his house nearby, Rivet piles up his blown down fence for removal. Two weeks after Ida, there were piles of debris on almost every street as the long cleanup was just getting under way.
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In the first days after Ida blew through, Rivet did the “Louisiana thing” to help anyone in need. Elite roommate Brock Mosley drove down from Mississippi with supplies and helped him tarp roofs for about a week.
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Rivet said it was the sweatiest week he’s ever experienced. Residents helped how they could, like one bringing Rivet an ice cream to help cool off.
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Still boarded up and sandbagged, Rivet’s mother’s house held up well, but there was damage to the roof, which he said could have been much worse.
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A window did break in from the wind, and he and his stepdad patched it up as another storm hit with heavy rains. Rivet said the saturated ground would stay that way for some time, with the threat of more trees falling.
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Another of Rivet’s Elite roommates, two-time Classic champion Hank Cherry, came down with a trailer full of survival supplies. Rivet said it teared him up and cheered him up at the same time. Elite Caleb Sumrall also dropped off a truckload.
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Mosley left a generator as getting power back was a huge process. Rivet’s came back on two weeks after the storm.
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Driving to Raceland, there were convoys of out-of-state utility trucks. Buildings were in ruins, and residents already began the cleanup. Most every street was lined with debris.
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A grappling truck could barely go a block before filling up and having to go dump the refuse.
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Sandbags and boards helped but didn’t save the floor on Rivet’s mother’s house.
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All the flooring in the living room had to be ripped up and dehumidifiers and fans were at work helping dry it out.
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Rivet tried to keep the dogs as comfortable as possible.
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Rivet had rods at the ready in case he needed a break.
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Neighbor April Lebouef dropped by to retrieve some food she left in a freezer. Louisianans helped out one another in the time of crisis.
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Rivet, whose main sponsor is Walk-Ons Sports Bistreaux, helped the Houma restaurant with its relief kitchen efforts.
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The crew put up signs and posted online about the event, which handed out more than 2,000 box lunches to anyone who drove up.
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Rivet was rewarded for his good deeds by receiving a berth to the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic. An Opens angler who won at Lake Norman on Saturday hadn’t fished the other Southern Open events so the spot went down the Elite Angler of the Year standings to Rivet, who will be fishing his first championship.