Federal government tearing down dozens of flood-prone homes in Ascension
GONZALES - Demolition of the flood-damaged homes on Silverleaf Street in Gonzales began on Monday.
"What you got here is a neighborhood that was flooding very often, and the city put together a program to purchase the homes," Matt Percy, Gonzales Attorney said.
A pair of large excavators were on site tearing down homes that were part of a federal buyout of more than 40 homes on Silverleaf. Houses that were constantly being flooded, and were heavily damaged during the Great Flood of 2016.
"Whenever you have strong rain for a couple of hours, it starts to flood," Charles Percy said.
Percy is the Associate Pastor of the Gonzales Baptist Temple, less than a block away from Silverleaf.
"Once the whole street was built, it started flooding," Ross said.
Ross says the church built a three-foot concrete barrier around the church to keep water out because it floods so much. The associate pastor believes the homes on Silverleaf were the problem.
"I feel sorry for the people who owned the homes and had to go through
all that they did, but I think its best for everybody that they come down now and stop the flooding," Ross said.
The buyout was completed in August of last year, but a legal battle between demolition companies, which is still in court, delayed the teardown for months.
Gonzales city officials took emergency action, even though that case still in court because they say the empty homes pose a danger to the public.
"Windows were being ripped out, plumbing was being ripped out, things were being taken from the property and there was evidence of people breaking through walls," Percy said.
The demolition is scheduled to be completed in 60 days.
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