FEMA, Coast Guard cleaning up Houston River

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard are cleaning the Houston River. The clean up started on Aug. 15.

Residents say the stretch in Sulphur hasn't been cleaned since Hurricane Rita.

"It was so heartbreaking to see all the trees down after Rita. I had just bought and cleared my property along the river and it was all devastated," said Tina LeDoux.

LeDoux said the heavy limbs and trees under the water have made it hard for boaters to navigate the area and for fishing.

Huey Royer said since the storm this stretch of river near Sulphur has been dangerous, even for people who grew up on the river.

"I was born and raised here on this river. Even before the storm the logs were bad, but at least we knew where they were at because were always in the river. After the storm, it was like take a risk because it was so dangerous for boaters," said Royer.

Cleanup has been going on for about a week. Crews have cleaned up nearly 20 miles of waterway and are beginning to wrap up the scope of their work.

"It really needed to be cleaned. But it has its pros and cons. It's going to mess my fishing up, laughs. And there will be a lot more boat traffic coming through," said Royer.

The cleanup is being done with several barges and excavators. Everything is being burned, including cypress trees. Officials said this is strictly a clean up effort and sorting through the debris would be too costly.

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