Government making progress in Silverleaf Street buyout
GONZALES - Forty homeowners in a Gonzales neighborhood have been fighting high waters for years. But the government has stepped in with a plan to move residents to higher ground.
The federal buyout of Silverleaf Street first began in July of 2018. Officials now hope to have residents relocated by the end of 2019.
"The other night it rained really hard and the water was all the way up to the sandbags," Silverleaf resident Ann Joseph said. "I call it Lake Canasis in the backyard because it fills all the way up with water."
Joseph has lived on Silverleaf since 1998. For years, flooding was never a worry. Now, stacking sandbags is a daily precaution.
"When you wake up in the morning after it rained all night and you step out into a puddle of water inside your house, it's not a good feeling," she added.
The parish has done everything it can to fix the flooding issues along Silverleaf Street, but the only solution was a federal buyout.
"We were continually trying to help folks with sandbags or keeping water out of their homes, so there was the need to find a permanent solution," said Jackie Baumann, Gonzales City Engineer. "Looking at elevations and drainage studies, their elevation is so low their permanent solution is to find them a high ground."
Back in July 2018 when the process began, 40 residents submitted applications that were all approved. The next step is appraisals.
With 50-percent of homes appraised, several homeowners on Silverleaf Street are steps closer to their buyout.
"I would hope within the next year folks are actually closing and locating to new homes," said Baumann.
All they can do now is wait.
"We're about to jump on board, get appraised, and give us an idea of what they will pay for us," Joseph said. "I'm ready to relocate."