Elderly homeowner at wit’s end over standing water in Lake Charles

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:15 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - One senior citizen in Lake Charles is having trouble with flooding due to an ongoing drainage issue residents blame on a subdivision being built above them.

Seventy-eight-year-old Theresa Lynn Manuel walked through the water in her yard, measuring the depth in various spots.

“I’m measuring three inches right here,” she said, with her yardstick in hand.

Manuel lives at the end of Louisiana Avenue, south of McNeese. She said the pool of standing water in her yard is always there since they built the subdivision next to her.

“It went four and a half feet higher on their property than mine. Now I have a water pond that stays on the corner of my fence always. The water never goes away. It can’t go uphill. It comes downhill into my yard,” she said.

Manuel doesn’t want standing water in her backyard and thinks someone should do something about it.

“I pleaded with the city to take note of what they were doing and they patted my head and said, ‘Ms. Manuel, nothing’s going to happen.’ Well, guess what? I have a pond courtesy of Lake Charles,” she said.

A spokesperson for the city says their engineers and independent engineers visited the site and agree the subdivision was built in line with ordinances in place at the time of construction. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in drainage improvements are also underway.

Another problem for Manuel has been mosquitoes, but after talking to 7News called she Calcasieu Mosquito Control. They came and treated the standing water to kill the mosquitos and put her pool of stagnant water on the list of places they regularly check for mosquitos.

“Maybe I can grow minnows and sell it to fishermen?” she suggested. “You know, have my own bait back here.”

Below is additional information we received from City of Lake Charles spokesperson Katie Harrington.

The City of Lake Charles continues to work to address drainage concerns throughout the city.

Regarding the south Louisiana Avenue drainage project, construction on the drainage improvement project is underway and the Lake Charles City Council recently approved an additional $228,000 in drainage improvements on the east side of the roadway, bringing the total project cost to more than $750,000. The additional work is expected to begin in the first quarter of this year and will be completed in conjunction with the work already underway.

The Lake Charles City Council has adopted a new drainage ordinance, with the most recent amendment being adopted in January 2022, to address similar situations in the future.

City of Lake Charles engineers have visited the site, along with independent engineers and confirmed that the subdivision in question was built in line with the ordinances in place at the time of construction.