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Residents blame debris in Contraband Bayou for flooding

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) -Frustration continues to mount for residents who flooded May 17.

Lake Charles residents who want drainage improved and are speaking out

When the rain starts, so does the post-traumatic stress. Residents blame the flooding on debris in Contraband Bayou. Residents say there is a portable toilet that’s been there for months:

“That porta potty drives me crazy. It’s been sitting in the water and everybody that has something to do with the city probably knows it’s there now. It’s not moving,” said Michael Johnson, one of the residents whose home flooded for the second time in less than one year.

And others call for cleaning the bayou to try to prevent the dire situation they face now:

“It makes me not want to live in my house because if in another three months, we get another rain and suddenly it floods again, then we have to start over from scratch for the third time in less than a year,” said Timothy Knoblauch, whose home flooded.

“We have elderly neighbors who have not gutted their house. They are in their houses with mold and they need help with gut jobs, pulling out the debris, boxes, totes, cleaning supplies and physical labor,” said Ashley Royer, who also lost almost everything in her house from flooding.

Lake Charles City Administrator John Cardone says the city, parish and drainage district are trying to find fast solutions.

“Governmental agencies are trying to get together and do a letter and try to identify what we can do to try to expedite this process. I think it’s real important. It appears to be moving too slow. We understand and I think it’s critical with all the emergency issues in the area,” he said.

Cardone says though it was an unprecedented rain they feel residents’ pain and will do all they can to take care of them.

Residents here are looking for answers. Many say they will attend a special drainage board meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday evening in the Calcasieu Police Jury Meeting Room in the government building at 1015 Pithon Street.

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