Denham Springs officials: Residents need to help maintain their ditches
DENHAM SPRINGS - Residents in Denham Springs are fed up with their yards flooding, most recently during the big storm in early June.
Although many are quick to blame the city, the city is pointing the finger right back.
"We got about 140-150 miles of ditch we maintain by hand," said Wesley Kinnebrew, who manages the gravity drainage district one.
He says even though it's supposed to be the homeowner's problem, the city is doing all the work.
"It's their responsibility to keep the yard clean, keep it out of the canals, keep it away from the canals. But it does come down and a lot of stuff we pull out comes from people's homes."
While the majority of ditches are clogged with vegetation, Kinnebrew says he's seen it all.
"We do pull out a lot of household products, lawn furniture, garbage that's been put in the canals, debris, tree limbs, stuff like that."
Even a fireplace was pulled out of a canal in someone's yard.
"I had one situation where a gentleman was very upset because his yard was going underwater, so we blew out the culvert and it was a child's basketball plugged inside the pipe. And that's what caused the whole problem."
It's getting to be so bad, the city is threatening legal action.
"We're at the point now I turn it over to my attorney and he sends them a letter that it is their responsibility to get it cleaned out before a storm."
He assures residents that his crew is doing the best it can but needs help to prevent future flooding.
"After every rainstorm, we do the cleaning. Any kind of jam-ups in the bridge, the culverts and all that, we have crews every day that are cutting ditches. And we try to make at least three rounds a year."