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Residents complain drainage improvements moving too slowly

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 7:25 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s been 10 months since Hurricane Laura devastated Southwest Louisiana, and those who have recently flooded think it’s high time major drainage laterals were cleared.

Stephen Ward’s family is at wits end as they begin their third recovery in less than a year.

“We were 80% done, moved back in the house three days before. The carpet got finished on Sunday, and this happened on Monday,” Ward said when speaking about the May 17 flood.

Not only is Ward frustrated they must start over on repairs to their home. In May and June, his daughter took photographs of various streets with bridges over Contraband Bayou, and he is frustrated at the lack of progress cleaning out the drainage lateral.

“I’m disheartened. I mean my house depreciated overnight, because I don’t think anybody wants to live here. And then I look around and I just see stuff that hadn’t been done. I mean, it’s been nine months,” Ward said.

Ward and other homeowners want action.

“I went behind Wendy’s on Common Street this morning just to see if anything had been done there, and there’s still a garage door there and plywood and everything else against that bridge.”

Coincidentally, the east side drainage board had an excavator at Kirkman and Contraband Bayou. They removed all the stuff along the guardrail - most notably, the yellow portable toilet and a child’s toy truck that had been there a long time.

“That outhouse was left over from all the debris that was accumulated behind Moss Regional here when, whoever in charge, bright idea to put all that in the middle of the city,” Ward said.

After the east side drainage crew cleaned out the bayou at Kirkman, they moved down to the Louisiana Avenue bridge over Contraband Bayou.

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