Ascension Parish kicks on drainage pumps to avoid flooding
GONZALES - Ascension Parish is working to stay on top of its increasing flooding issues after days of consecutive rain filled many of its water systems.
The parish kicked on all six pumps at the Marvin Braud Pumping Station at 4 a.m. Tuesday to prevent low-lying areas from backing up and possibly flooding.
"When you have many days of rain like we've been having all of the systems fill up and actually a minor rain event can cause serious problems because everything is already full," said Ascension Drainage Director, Bill Roux. "We thought it would be best to turn them on and bring the levels down so a minor rain event won't cause major damage."
"I was afraid because I thought we'd have to evacuate," said Gonzales resident, Zettie Ferguson. "The water came up to the tires on my car."
Ferguson lives just off Highway 74. She says it doesn't take much for the area in front of her home to fill up, remembering severe damage caused by just a week of rain a few months back.
"For my neighbors the water came up completely covering their doors," Ferguson said. "They lost three vehicles."
Two years ago, the parish added a sixth pump to the Marvin Braud Pumping Station to help clear out flood water from the Gonzales, Prarieville and Sorrento areas. It now has the capacity to pump out three million gallons of water per minute.
Parish officials say a seventh pump should be installed within the year to help alleviate some parts of the parish that are still flooding.
"With number seven we'll be able to put more of the drainage basin into this basin and drain areas we can't drain right now," Roux said.
Adding another pump is just one of four ongoing flood fight projects currently underway, and Roux is confident much of the parish will get relief within the next two years.