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Residents say drainage project is source of flood concerns

6 years 7 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, June 29 2017 Jun 29, 2017 June 29, 2017 4:56 PM June 29, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS - The Livingston Parish Department of Public Works is investigating a culvert issue following a 2 On Your Side inquiry.

Residents say three culverts that go under Dunn Road near Rustic Road Drive are the source of their flood fears and blame them for the August Flood.

William Ballard says 30 homes in Summer Run Subdivision flooded in August. Drainage ditches run behind the houses from North to South. Ballard says on August 12 the rainwater backed up into the subdivision, pipes clogging like a beaver dam preventing water from exiting. While the water was rising, someone raked debris from those culverts and the water exited.

Ballard repaired the flood damage and has since moved back into his home, but he's not happy with the parish's response to what's happened.

"You can call this parish, call this parish, call this parish, they won't call you back," he said.

Ballard says the culverts are too small. Too much water and not enough room to flow.

"And don't keep them cleaned out," he said. "I'm 69 years old. I'm out there with a flashlight all night, with a rake."

Tired of waiting for a response, Ballard says he's cleaned out the ditches four times since the August flood. He says last week, two parish workers cleared debris from the area around the culverts.

Last week, 2 On Your Side called Livingston Parish about Ballard's concerns. After investigating, it agrees the culverts are too small and it tells WBRZ a fix will come down the line.

Around 2005, DPW took out a bridge at that spot along Dunn Road and replaced the opening with three culverts. Next week, DPW says it's meeting with an engineer to discuss options to replace the bridge.

While Ballard is happy progress is happening, he says the aggravation and the stress of what happened during the flood could have been prevented.

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