Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Crews dredge the New River Canal in Ascension Parish

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GONZALES- For 25 years, Samuel Brown has lived at his home near Cornerview and Main Street.

Just last month, floodwater crept just inches away from homes in his neighborhood with nowhere for it to go.

"We were here in 2016 when we had the flood, and we just experienced something similar to that. We're just looking for some type of remedy," said Brown.

The solution he's looking for is underway just around the corner. Ascension Parish DPW crews are now dredging New River in Gonzales. This comes after the Drainage Board approved the effort last Thursday.

"This is monumental in a sense of taking out those peak flash flood elevations, and hopefully keeping water out of people's homes," said Parish President Clint Cointment.

In addition, flood gates are now installed at the weir connecting Smith Bayou and New River Bayou. When waters rise in the northern waterways, the valves can be opened to allow more water to flow to the south.

"We're creating capacity so when flash flooding happens, we're able to restore water on the north and west side of the weirs which it hasn't been capable of in the recent past," Cointment said.

It's a project many residents say has been a long time coming.

"It's an exceptional idea, and it's something that's long overdue," said Brown.

The progress along the river is giving many homeowners hope for the future.

"Ultimately it will increase property values and it will stabilize the drainage in this area," said Brown.

The New River dredging project is expected to be completed in 120 days.


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