$225,000 grant aims to utilize green infrastructure to reduce flooding

$225,000 grant aims to utilize green infrastructure to reduce flooding

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Plans to reduce flooding in Lake Charles using green space— all thanks to a $225,000 grant awarded to the city last fall.

The City of Lake Charles was one of 10 organizations across the country to receive the Great Urban Parks grant— which aims to utilize green infrastructure in under served areas.

“Oh that’s a great idea, I think it’ll help," Elaine Jason, a Hillcrest Drive area resident, said.

Mayor Nic Hunter said Hillcrest park was chosen because of its history with flooding — and its to a canal that runs into the Kayouchee Coulee.

“There were neighborhoods around Hillcrest that were affected by hurricane Harvey with some flooding. So, this investment is specifically geared towards storm water runoff and new technologies and philosophies and how we can integrate parks and recreation with helping prevent future flooding for the neighborhoods," Hunter said.

The final plan presented by a New Orleans landscape firm would introduce native plants to the green space on Hillcrest Drive to detain more water during heavy rain, taking that storm water away from pipes.

Hunter said it’s not a permanent fix.

“That canal, when it backs up into neighborhoods so if we can prevent some of the water from getting into that canal so quickly— I’m not saying we’re gonna solve flooding by any means, I don’t want to give off that impression— but we can help,” Hunter said.

Some residents agreed.

“It’s not going to solve everything, but it’s gonna soak up water where it keeps it form flowing. It’s gonna help. But, we need more than just plants. We need major help. We need federal government help or whatever we can get we need to be able to fix the problem before people, everyone lose their land," Ella Montgomery, another Hillcrest Drive resident, said.

The landscape firm plans to begin construction on the green space by September.

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