Moss Bluff man gets water in home three times in three months - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Moss Bluff man gets water in home three times in three months

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A lot of people in Southwest Louisiana deal with flooding, and for some, it seems to be happening more often.

When Richard Spence hears thunder and rain he gets nervous. That's because his home off Joe Miller Road has flooded numerous times.

"Anywhere from five inches to three feet.  And I've been here 20 years.  We flooded eight times," he said.

He says the water is getting higher with less rain.

"I've gotten over a foot of water with five inches of rain where it usually would take ten inches," said Spence.

"Don't know when it's going to happen. It could happen at midnight.  It could happen at six o'clock in the morning. I turn off the main breaker in the house and we just get out," he said.

This day he's high and dry, yet photos document the water outside and inside from past floods.  The most recent flood happened in the middle of remodeling from the previous flood.  He lives in a constant state of remodeling. 

"The last three months have been a nightmare. The doors warp on you.  They'll split apart on you," he said, on a walking tour of his home.

"That's our flooring and doors," he said, pointing to a pile of construction materials in a bedroom.

"All the furniture has been moved out, we just have the bare necessities," he said.

Spence says he's invested money in levies and ditches to try to improve drainage around his home.  He's also applying for a federal program to raise his house since he's flooded so much, though there's a waiting list. But for now,

"I really think they need to change the culvert out on Joe Miller, to allow this water to get out faster," he said.

He also advises those buying houses to make sure they check out the possibility of flooding.

"Do your homework, do your homework.  Find out where you're at.  And call the parish.  They can tell you,"said Spence.

Officials with the Ward 1 Drainage District (District 8 of Ward 1) say they are working with police jury officials to improve drainage in the area and look forward to a $5 million project in the works.

Superintendent Eddie Hebert says a project with local, state and federal funding will increase the size of the Belfield Ditch for 1 1/4 miles and should therefore help alleviate some flooding. 

Engineers estimate the project will substantially reduce flooding for about 200 homes.  Depending on how much rain there is, they say some homes would no longer flood.

When the project starts depends on when parish officials are successful in negotiating with land owners for the necessary access to property.  Once that’s resolved they can go out for construction bids. Construction is expected to take ten months to a year, but officials say residents should begin seeing some relief as soon as construction gets underway.

The cost of the project is estimated at about $5 million dollars.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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