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Preparing for Hurricane Harvey: Denham Springs clearing ditches, culverts

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DENHAM SPRINGS- As Hurricane Harvey progresses, the news of possibly three to four inches of rain has some residents in Denham Springs nervous. 

"The streets were flooded, water came up, just five feet from my house, and that's when I started to get nervous again." Robert Desoto recalled the three inches of rain that caused the high school, roads and neighborhoods to have backwater flooding.

The City of Denham Springs Drainage District #1 was out and about Friday, cleaning culverts and drainage canals. 
Drainage District #1 manager, Wesley Kinnebrew, said the crews are out working to get ahead of the possible rain Harvey may bring this way. 

"We're opening up making sure the canals are open, ditches, culverts and make sure they're flowing," Kinnebrew said. 

Kinnebrew said the community has been through enough and whatever the drainage district can do to help is the main goal. 

 "We have a lot of people in our city who are scared and anxious about the rain because of the flood we had. So we're out here just to make sure things are open and flowing before it gets here," Kinnebrew said. 

Wesley says over a year down the road, they're still seeing debris, especially sediment clogging up the culverts. They used a tool to clean them out Friday. 

"Our culvert cleaner runs a 700-foot hose, it breaks up sediment, roots that may be jammed, or anything that could cause a blockage, and washes it back to clean the pipes out," Kinnebrew explained.

While residents like Robert Desoto are still on edge, he's content with the city's drainage productivity over the past year. 

"I've seen a little improvement because we've had a little rain in a short period of time, so it has made a bit of an improvement," Desoto said. 

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