Residents in flood-prone Central looking for some relief
CENTRAL - LaDarius Johnson and his family moved into this house in Central less than six months ago, and they are already having some regrets.
"Like every time it rains, I've got to worry about if my house is going to flood or not," Johnson said.
There's a drainage canal in the backyard that filled up the last time it rained.
"We need to be prepared to evacuate if the water gets any higher," said Monica Ricks, Johnson's sister.
They live in the flood-prone Cimmaron subdivision. Last summer, during moderate rainfall, streets flooded and water got into one house. The problem is a drainage canal behind the neighborhood that runs into Beaver Bayou at a sharp 90-degree angle.
"When the water comes from Beaver Bayou and meets the water from this canal, they basically fight each other and the water stands still," Central Mayor Junior Shelton said.
It's a situation the mayor inherited, and he's now working on a $1.5 million plan to divert water further down the bayou.
The canal that runs into Beaver Bayou was built way back before there was even a city of Central, and it wasn't a problem until people began building homes and moving back here.
And the flood of 2016 made the problem even worse.
"We're discovering that because of the Flood of 2016, a lot of things have happened to these channels that we never had to deal with before.," Shelton said.
Johnson and his family are happy to hear about the drainage project and hope it could happen before the next big rain comes their way.