Calcasieu Police Jury gives update on drainage lateral clean up

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 9:41 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Flooding is plaguing the city of Lake Charles. Calcasieu Parish officials explain their progress on working to alleviate the problem.

There are 800 drainage laterals in Calcasieu Parish, which is the equivalent to 1,600 miles. That’s the workload sitting on the shoulders of parish officials.

“We still have a lot of debris from those hurricanes in the laterals, and yes, we need to remove it,” said Parish Administrator Bryan Beam. “That’s why this is a concern or topic of interest for folks.”

The project is costing upwards of $150 million, so the parish is working with FEMA to lighten the financial burden, which is something they say is a crucial part of this process.

“Our efforts are focused strongly, and we’ve been working for months on this to start that process. It requires permitting, and it requires other steps to comply with getting that reimbursement,” Beam said.

Both drainage districts in the parish have already spent months clearing out the laterals, but Beam said this is a project that’s going to take time to fix.

“We are going as fast as we can, working with the agencies we need to. It’s really the scope of Laura, the size of Hurricane Laura and Delta, that have made this a bigger challenge than previous storms we’ve had,” Beam said.

This project could take up to two years to complete.

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