Dial Dalfred: Filling the flood plain a concern for residents along the Vermilion River

Dial Dalfred

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Some residents along the Vermilion River are worried about flooding after a nearby flood plain was filled with loads of dirt.

But should they be concerned? We’re getting answers in tonight’s Dial Dalfred report.

Richard Bischke and Chuck Gaines have been neighbors for the past fifteen years.

They’ve enjoyed their lives on the river, but over the past few months, a concern has grown with the advancement of a construction project near by flood plain, that would store excess water during heavy rains.

This area that you see across the river here used to store that water which was entering the Vermilion. Now that they have infilled it, it will not store as much water and this water has to go somewhere.

Bischke’s next door neighbor Chuck Gaines echoes his concerns but is also hoping elected officials get involved.

“Everybody that ran for office ran on ‘let’s save the river, we’re going to stop flooding, and drainage, and all that. Well, this is what’s going to keep the river flooding right here, you’re filling in the flood zone.”

“I think it’s a legitimate concern anytime you see a large amount of field being put into the floodplain.”

Nepveaux says anytime a person wants to build or complete a project in a flood zone, that project can’t move forward without a floodplain analysis.

“To check to make sure the projects not going to adverse affect the floodplain.”

The land where the work is being done was platted over a decade ago. At that time the Unified Development Code didn’t exist so some of the current stipulations like Zero Net Fill, where a developer would not be allowed to build or add material to a floodway don’t apply to them, but Nepveaux says the residents living near the project don’t need to worry.

“It would really take a lot of fill to really adversely affect and move water along the river and really affect someone’s house.”

Nepveaux says the developers haven’t applied for a building permit from the parish, yet. But when they do— the permit will be on hold until parish engineers can assure the project will not affect the floodplain

If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community or there’s a story you’d like me to investigate, send me an email at DialDalfred@klfy.com.

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