Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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False River concerns

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NEW ROADS - More than a dozen residents living along and around False River say their property is changing since the water level was dropped last year.

The False River drawdown was implemented to revive the lake and remove silt, to make sure it sustains itself for years to come.  Wednesday night, the False River Civic Association asked Pointe Coupee officials and drawdown project managers to address concerns about the project.

"I'm a concerned landowner, and it's very important for me to see what's going to happen to the river in future years," said Howard Ward.

Project managers say they've only had a dozen complaints so far, but after the meeting they expect the number of concerned residents to grow.

Landowner Joe Zaback says while he supports the rehab project, he's noticed a change in his property in the last 30 days.

"The water's not there anymore, so the ground is all drying out," said Zaback. "We're an island surrounded by water, it's all underneath it. If that drops away, the ground contracts, everything sinks."

He says new concrete on his property has cracked and a walkway in his back yard has shifted away from the house.

Other residents say their property is thriving. Some landowners have vegetation growing where it didn't grow before.

Officials with the drawdown project say of more than 800 seawalls or bulkheads, they only heard of a dozen issues. They aren't certain the drawdown is to blame for the changing property, but engineers plan to look at each property individually to see if the problems are old or new.

Engineers predicted each property that reports an issue, will be inspected with in the next couple of weeks.


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