Some question whether development is worsening flooding - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Some question whether development is worsening flooding

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Long after the rain stopped Wednesday, flood waters continued to make some roads impassable or barely passable, depending on one's vehicle.

Ricky Hanagriff is one who had trouble getting between home and work this week, due to Anthony Ferry Road flooding.

"I'm surprised how it's flooded this high," Hanagriff said. "I've never seen it this high and I've been here my whole life."

Hanagriff isn't the only one questioning what's causing it and whether it's getting worse.

"I've heard there's beaver dams, there's a lot of new construction, just numerous things that Sulphur and Lake Charles have been flooding more and more," he said.

It wasn't just standing water, but swift moving current crossing Anthony Ferry and some other roads. 

Members of the Alliance for Positive Growth feel action is needed to address drainage. They want solutions that will benefit everybody.

Chris Khoury and Ralph Lewing are members of the Alliance Drainage Committee.

"It's finding the balance," Khoury said. "It's fixing the problem that's critical for growth that we have sufficient drainage in our area. But at the same time we don't want to over-regulate so that it stunts growth in our area."

"As a group of stakeholders, that's our mission and we will use our resources to help compile some of the data they already have and come up with solutions and work with our government," he said.

"Our mission is to help bridge the gap between business, the people of this community, government and the government staff," Lewing said.

Lewing identified four items for discussion:

1. Parish wide drainage plan and the fact that it should take place before more capital projects are put out.

2. Correct the drainage we have in place to facilitate what the actual needs are to correct the areas of concern.  

3. Develop the 25-acre pond on Contraband Bayou as it seems, according to the study, to be the most effective way to control rain storm flooding in a much larger area and a greater depth.

4.  Provide information to the public as to what benefits this will actually achieve.

The alliance members also say better maintenance of drainage ditches and canals is critical. Calcasieu Police jurors say they plan to work with the alliance to find solutions to drainage problems.  

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