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Ascension Parish rids trees from bayous to prevent flooding

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ASCENSION PARISH - With saws, rakes and rope in hand, crews are busy in Ascension Parish, cleaning out naturally-made dams in Bayou Conway, southeast of Sorrento.

“Everything that comes down this bayou is going to catch on that, and it’s going to get bigger and bigger and bigger,” said Martin McConnell, the public information officer in Ascension Parish.

Waterways like this one are clogging up. Trees and debris have fallen into the water. This is what caused backwater to flood the area two years ago, so the parish has made removing the debris a priority.

"We need to open up the canal for the water to flow," said McConnell.

A 5 mill property tax approved by voters is allowing this work to be done. While it’s a tough job, lifting and pulling trees, one blockage gone means less risk of flooding.

“If we can't do this regular maintenance program, then eventually all of these bayous will block up again or silt up. And it will impede the water, and it won't get out as quickly," said McConnell.

Twenty-five trees have already been removed from an 11-mile stretch of Bayou Conway. They have 11 more to go. Once crews are done, they'll continue the clean-up, moving north in the parish.

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