Livingston Parish set to receive millions of dollars in grants for drainage, flooding issues
LIVINGSTON PARISH - Livingston Parish will work to create a committee made up of the public and the parish council over the next few weeks. That committee will hash out plans and solutions to drainage issues, especially in lower Livingston.
10 parishes, including Livingston, will initially receive at least $50 million as part of a $1.2 billion dollar community block grant to help with flood mitigation.
Residents who frequently experience high water say it's much needed after years of neglecting drainage systems in some of the most southern portions of the parish.
"The flooding issue has been going on since 1998, and it's getting worse and worse to the minute,” Keith Landry said.
Landry is a proud Maurepas resident and spoke up for himself and his neighbors at Thursday’s council meeting.
"The waterways are blocked up. The canals are blocked up. I mean, what can we do? The water keeps coming on us and there's nothing we can do,” Landry said.
Landry said the water finally started to go down on Thursday after continually rising throughout the week as Tropical Storm Beta rolled through. An active storm season with sustained easterly winds has only caused more damage and headaches for residents this year, which they say is happening more often now.
"When Ascension Parish, St. John, St. James flushes their toilet it backs upon us. Everybody's building levees, dams, pumps. Where's the water going? It's coming on us,” Landry said.
Now, millions of dollars in grants to clear out waterways, improve drainage, and further assist with home elevations is making its way to the parish. A total of three projects costing over 10 million dollars have been applied for so far.
Parish leaders are meeting on Monday to further discuss how the grant money can best be used. That's something Landry is happy to hear about, but he wants to see progress after the funds are secured.
"How long do we have to put up with this? It's up to the parish government to look at what really needs to be done, just like Hurricane Katrina. We had all this money to drain all these canals and stuff and what happened to the money? What happened to the drainage? What happened to the cleaning of the ditches, the canals? Nothing,” Landry said.
Once officials get more of an idea of how much money they will be getting in this first round of funding, council members will then form a committee that will also include citizens, to come up with possible long-term solutions for drainage in the southern parts of the parish.