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Landowner allows pipeline access, blames work for property flooding

1 week 4 days 12 hours ago Tuesday, April 02 2024 Apr 2, 2024 April 02, 2024 7:41 PM April 02, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

ZACHARY - A property owner living a few hundred feet away from the Comite Diversion Canal project says he's locked into a deal that's causing him to flood. After his concerns were ignored, he contacted 2 On Your Side.

When Jimmy Pigrenet bought his property on Old Baker Road 15 years ago, he says he had no idea what was coming. Several years ago he signed a deal giving a company permission to access his land to move a Shell Oil pipeline to make way for the Comite Diversion Canal. A new access point is being built right next to his house and he says it's been a "total nightmare."

"They just do what they want and don't worry about the landowners next to them," Pigrenet said.

The contracted company built a road to access the pipeline. It snakes through his property and alongside it.

"They put a dirt road and raised it, which puts me in a bowl now," he said.

Pigrenet says his property was once draining fine but now when it rains his land sits wet for days. He says the extra water prevents him from mowing his lawn and it is making his chickens sick.

"I can't use it all, it's totally useless to me," Pigrenet said.

His attempt to reason with the pipeline crew have not panned out. Pigrenet says he can't get a return phone call. When more dirt was being hauled in a couple of weeks ago, he called 2 On Your Side.

Shell Oil company responded to 2 On Your Side and met with Pigrenet about his concerns on Tuesday. They offered to built a swale around the road and direct the water to the road-side drainage ditch. Pigrenet says that ditch is clogged.

He feels frustrated and forgotten, caught up in all the progress happening around him. It's affecting his land, home, and chickens.

"It's going to flood," he said.

That work to redirect the water could start this month. Shell Oil says it takes Pigrenet's concerns seriously and provided the following statement.

While we were able to clarify that these issues are largely unrelated to Shell operations there, we are sympathetic to Pigrenet's concerns. Shell takes pride in the communities in which we live and work and we will do our best to optimize the drainage as well as minimize the impact on the land's appearance in the areas of the property where we are carrying out our contracted work.

The City-Parish has also been contacted regarding Pigrenet's drainage ditch concerns.

In exchange for the land access, Pigrenet says his agreement includes an approximately $2,000 payment every five years.

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