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Watson residents say new drainage ditches will do more harm than good

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WATSON - Big drainage ditches are being dug and huge culverts are being installed on Olivia drive in Watson. 

Homeowners say flooding issues needed to be addressed in the area, but also say this is too much.

Jeff Garland says his driveway was removed for the drainage project.

"I think they are over doing it," Garland said.

His truck gets stuck every time he tries to leave home, and he says he will have to pay out of his own pocket to build a new driveway.

"I think if the parish is the one taking the concrete out, they aught to put it back," Garland said.?

Eddie Wright lives right down the street. He's upset because the ditch in front of his house is deeper than the the nearby canal.

"The last hard rains we had, the canal backed up into my ditch. Instead of draining, the canal was draining into it," Wright said.

It will also be almost impossible to cut the grass that will will eventually grow in the bigger ditches.

Being twice as deep as the old ones, homeowners say the new drainage ditches are a safety hazard. They argue that the ditches are too deep and are dangerous for children in the area, especially when filled to the top with rain water.

"I got a 5-year-old that can clearly walk in the culvert they put in there and a 32-week-old Husky puppy... And both of them can go right up into that culvert," Wright said.

Parish officials say the engineering study shows that the deeper ditches are necessary to keep the neighborhood from flooding. They also say the homeowners association was informed that residents would have to replace the driveways before the project started.


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