Residents say new development has caused flooding issues for them

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 8:13 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - If there’s one thing that frustrates people, it’s when they’ve had no issues with flooding until new construction nearby changed everything.

That’s what people on a stretch of Louisiana Avenue believe happened to them. It’s the section of Louisiana that runs south of McNeese street. Residents say ever since property to the east was built up, they flood.

They say most homes on their street flooded in May, while others had scarcely an inch to spare.

Theresa Manuel says after a developer built up three feet, she gets water in her house.

“I have flooded three times since they put the property three feet higher than my home,” Manuel said. “I have lived here since 1973. Even in the flood of 1980 in lake Charles, my home did not flood. Our street did not flood.”

Plus, Manuel says McNeese Street is higher than they are. She says it’s very frustrating.

“There are bricks under the grandfather clock. I cannot go one night,” Manuel said. “If Lake Charles says we’re going to have two inches of water, I’m picking up rugs. I don’t sleep. I watch the back door, waiting for the water to come in again.”

Manuel relies on kind-hearted neighbors to help raise furniture, neighbors who are also frustrated.

“We’ve been here for 15 years,” Pamela Roper said. “It’s never flooded since we’ve lived here - we’ve never had a problem. Since the subdivision started being built behind us, we flood every time it becomes heavy. The entire street is underwater - we’re stuck. We can’t even get in or out.”

Allen Thibodeaux says they had a foot and a half of water inside their house in May.

“We didn’t have flood insurance. I didn’t think we needed it,” Thibodeauxs said. “We’ve been here for over 40 years, and it’s never flooded. So, I never had flood insurance.”

Danny Lambert says they came close to flooding.

“You can see all the red water coming from the fresh dirt, it’s coming where they built it up three foot.” Lambert said.

All the residents agree they need to improve the drainage somehow.

Manuel says she’s not against progress but thinks drainage should come with it - not wait until after neighbors flood.

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