Common Street construction could be to blame

By Tiffany Blackmon - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC)- The abundance of rain on Monday night caused flooding and a lot of headaches for many lake area residents, and some feel they don't just have the rain to blame for flooded homes.

Residents who live off of Common Street feel the damage done to their homes may have been brought on by construction, and could have been avoided.

Jennifer Horner hired a cleaning company to get the water out of her home. "It was flooded down here," she said, "There was about 3 1/2 to 4 inches all back here, they're still vacuuming up some of it."

Horner believes that her home may have been flooded due to construction on Common Street.

She stated, "The water didn't have anywhere to drain, it had no where to go."

Horner's not the only one who thinks construction may be to blame. Jeff Bell spoke out on Monday night when his stepson's property was filled with water.

Bell said, "I believe that's what made the matter worse because they restricted the size of the open ditches down to a three foot opening."

Residents say those openings are being filled with culverts. They think that the culverts are the problem, but officials disagree.

Ronnie Dupont, the Area Engineer for Calcasieu and Cameron Parish said, "The work being done on Common has been done to improve the drainage, we are improving drainage as we go."

Dupont also says an abundance of rain can cause problems, but they have surveyed the area and do not believe construction work is to blame.

"In our opinion the drainage is fine, we see no blockage, we see no areas that should create a problem," Dupont said.

Bell says not even hurricanes have caused his stepson's home to flood, and the only other time it has flooded was when the areas for water to drain have been obstructed.

"I think they should have done a little more surveying or something to look at it," stated Bell, "I think they should look into bigger piping."

Some residents are left with little or no options for their homes.

Horner said,"[I'm] pretty upset, we're probably going to have to move."

"A lot of these people out here don't have the money to keep on doing this," stated Bell.

With more rain expected this week, the clean up for residents could become even more challenging. Dupont says that even with the added concern of rain, they feel they've done everything to improve drainage, but if residents can point out a specific area that is a problem, they will look into it.

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