Hillcrest residents want drainage work now

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA.(KPLC) -The sun is shining, there's hardly a cloud in sight and we're in the middle of a drought.  So, it seems unlikely anyone would worry about drainage right now.  But some homeowners say now is the perfect time to act to prevent flooding.

Right about this time last year, there was water everywhere for some residents-- including Marshall Montgomery, who lives at the end of Hillcrest on Kayouchee Coulee. Said Montgomery back then, "Look at this thing. This morning it was so high last night it come all the way just about on top of the thing."

Right now Marshall and his neighbors are high and dry, yet that nagging feeling persists-- that the drainage lateral needs to be cleaned out so that when there is rain the water doesn't come so close to their homes. "Right now while it's dry and everything it's showing all the stuff we got here that really needs to be picked up. IF we get a storm or something, a lot of rain, don't you know we would be in serious trouble because the last time they had a lot of rain we got all the way up on the top of these steps."

State Representative A.B. Franklin has sought help from state and federal funding sources and says he will try again.  "I think the people out there deserve better. They've got nice homes, they've got pockets of debris out there that need to be removed. But as a state legislator once again, I say we'll do what we can to try to get this problem resolved."

And if it seems silly to worry about drainage now, well Montgomery and his neighbors say they'd rather complain now than after water invades. "This is important to us. You know, we live here. We don't want the water to go in our homes. We got a lot of beautiful homes here." said Montgomery.

Montgomery says are not asking for a concrete lateral-- he says they simply want it dredged.

About fifty residents signed a petition asking that the stretch of Kayouchee Coulee they live on be dredged.  Drainage engineer Walter Jessen says the board welcomes the efforts of Franklin and anyone else trying to get additional funding to meet the needs of the district.

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