Central drainage cleanup delayed again
CENTRAL - The City of Central’s ‘Backwater Clean-up Campaign’ designed to help clean the major water ways, drainage ditches, culverts, and bayous that are blocked by debris, is delayed again.
Residents in the Cimmaron Subdivision off Hooper Road have received several inches of water multiple times since the August flood of 2016. After hearing the news that a week of rain is in the forecast and the drainage project is postponed, some residents fear they may flood again.
“When I see we're going to have rain for a week and have possibly three, four to five inches, I get nervous. And it’s not that I'm afraid of it, I just know the damage it will leave,” said John Green, a homeowner in Cimmaron. “I'm at a point where I'm paranoid about the weather.”
The 73-year-old veteran owns two homes in the neighborhood, one rental property and his personal home. Green just finished renovations on his flood-damaged home this week.
“The point being if I get another inch of water in any of my properties, and two of them are in Central, I'm just going to have to walk away from them,” Green said.
Central Mayor Junior Shelton explained the hold-up comes from the Army Corps of Engineers who haven’t returned the stamp of approval on the city’s campaign plans.
Regardless, as rain is headed towards Central, the stress is high. And homeowners say they’re losing hope in their city and government officials.
“To get relief, the people that need to give us relief, are the people that are putting a stumble box in our way and using their ineptness as an excuse for why things are the way they are. That's the way I see it,” Green said of his multiple attempts to get movement on the drainage problems.
“It’s a catastrophe on catastrophe. They don't understand. The people who care are so far removed from the decision makers that they can't help,” he added.
Near the subdivision are three bayous that converge, and Green said the flooding occurs where Beaver Bayou flows into two canals.
“People that live along those watersheds are in danger, because that water will at some point come. The bayou will narrow and become a dam and back up,” Green said.
However, without the Army Corps of Engineers approval, Central officials and the contracted company are in limbo.
Even though Mayor Shelton hopes the delay will only last around a week, Green said he’s waited long enough. And if water were to inundate the neighborhood in the coming days, he would lose everything.
“What gets me is, what we won’t leave behind for our children, it’s all up in smoke,” Green said.
Mayor Shelton said Monday they will inform residents immediately when the ‘Backwater Cleanup Campaign’ begins, residents in the vulnerable areas just hope it’s not too late.