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Blighted properties still noticeable in Southwest Louisiana 2 years after 2020 storms

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 7:53 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - So many people in Southwest Louisiana long for the day, when blighted property from Hurricane Laura is not so easily spotted, but cleanup is slow going in many cases.

Most of the public bodies and elected officials have tried to work with those still trying to get their house or business back to normal, but in some cases, it seems like nothing is happening.

For nearly two years, residents of Kingsbury Lane have been looking at a severely damaged house at 2873 Kingsbury Ln. They said no work has been done since Hurricane Laura hit in 2020.

Plus, they said it’s a nuisance because it attracts pests such as snakes, rats, even skunks.

“We got rats, we got skunks, a mama skunk ran out of there with three baby skunks, coming out of the house and the rats,” near neighbor Paul Duhon said.

88 year old Buzzy Brunot agreed.

“I have actually seen rats running across.” Brunot said.

Plus they said they have to go around picking up pieces of roofing material and tarp that fly off when the wind blows.

“Fix it up or tear it down and clean it up,” Duhon said.

“I have tried to get my house in good shape,” Brunot said.

They said the only time the grass gets cut is when the Calcasieu Police Jury is called to do it.

“They need to cut the grass,” Duhon said.

The house was purchased in April. Coincidentally, on the same day neighbors contacted 7News, contract workers showed up to take some measurements of the roof.

A parish sign on the house said it is unsafe and occupancy is prohibited. Yet, the new owner, Jun Wang, said he plans to put a new roof on this week and have the house remodeled within the next couple of months.

Police Jury officials said so far no permit applications have been submitted for review. A spokesperson said the house is on a list to be condemned unless the owner provides a list of repairs planned and a timeline to complete.

The Police Jury spokesperson said if the owner does not submit plan for repairs, a public hearing on condemnation would be in September.

Parish officials said residents with similar issues may contact planning and development or their police juror with concerns.

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