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Flood-prone residents moving closer to relocation

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NEW ROADS - Renderings of a new neighborhood were on display Monday at St Augustine's Catholic Church. The drawings depict what residents currently living in the Pecan Acres area should except.

"Can I move tomorrow," Lisha Gremillion said. "Can I have that house built overnight? I can't go through it anymore."

Gremillion has lived in Pecan Acres all her life, but with too many floods to mention, she's ready to leave.

"It's been hard," Gremillion said. "We have lost many, many neighbors over the years waiting for this dream. Now finally this dream is coming forward for us."

Monday night, officials unveiled what the houses will look like at Audubon Estates, the new subdivision Pecan Acres residents will be relocated to. With 20 house designs, multiple paint choices, and interior plans, residents have helped select the options they will choose from.

"We had options on color schemes," Pat Forbes of the Louisiana Office of Community Development said. "We had options of design schemes for the homes. We had options on the layout of the streets in the neighborhood as well as names. Essentially the residents all voted, and what we have today is what they all chose."

This relocation project has lasted years, but the end is in sight. Officials say the land needed for the subdivision will be purchased soon. For residents frustrated with repeat flooding, this progress is welcome news.

"They're very excited about the end result of it," Pointe Coupee Parish councilman, Edward Brazile said. They're excited to get into their new homes. Very excited."

Excited might be an understatement for Lisha Gremillion.

"It's like buying my first new car," Gremillion said. "I love it. I love everything about the new house. It's something that's been forthcoming, and I think myself and all of our neighbors are touched by this."

These renderings don't signify just a new coat of paint, but rather a fresh start for Gremillion and her neighbors.

"Very big light, God's light," Gremillion said. He's shining down on us. He's going to be there with us until the last piece of wood is put up on that house and we sign that paperwork."

Officials expect to break ground this spring and have residents start moving in next summer.


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