Drainage concerns as Tropical Storm Beta looms closer

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 6:29 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Rainfall and winds often pose a risk for flooding in Southwest Louisiana but now with debris clogging drains, flooding seems to be inevitable.

For Andrew Adams, who lives on Gauthier Road, flooding is always expected when rain is in the forecast.

“It all drains in this corner from both sides of the road, so, sometimes right here you’re standing in a foot of water,” Adams said. “That’s just a regular five, six inches of rain.”

Now, with debris blocking the drains in front of his home, he’s concerned the water will reach even higher.

City and parish officials are clearing debris ahead of Tropical Storm Beta, one ditch at a time.

“We’ve got to deal with day to day happenings and right now we’re getting ready for Tropical Storm Beta, and I promise you our contractor is moving as quickly as possible,” said Nic Hunter, Mayor of Lake Charles. “What hit us, less than four weeks ago, it would be humanly impossible for the entirety of the debris cleanup process to take place at this point. We are praying that Tropical Storm Beta does not do to us what Harvey did a few years ago.”

Rick Fitts, President of the West Calcasieu Gravity Drainage board consolidated district no. 1 explained, they’re trying to work as quickly as they can to clear debris from drains. There’s so many they’ve done, but there’s still a long way to go.

“Flooding whether it’s from the debris or not, there’s predictions of flood,” Fitts said. “We’re going to do our best to keep minimizing any obstructions that we can get out of the way.”

Citizens are asked to not put debris near ditches and to remove obstruction from the ditches if they can.

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