YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) – Two years ago, many here in South Louisiana were dealing with the devastation from the Historic Flood of 2016.
In Acadiana, one of the cities hardest hit was Youngsville.
600 structures in the city were flooded 2 years ago according to Mayor Ken Ritter.
Since then, officials have been working nonstop to try and prevent this from happening again.
“Youngsville probably had it’s darkest hour 2 years ago, but collectively, we were all determined to not make that story our identity,” said Ritter.
Mayor Ken Ritter is looking ahead 2 years after the Historic Flood.
He realizes it’s hard to predict when a rain event like that would happen again, but his administration has been working so the city is better prepared during smaller weather emergencies.
“First thing we did was we increased new construction developments. Youngsville has grown really rapidly through new construction, so it was only made sense that we raised our standards and looked at the way we were going,” said Ritter.
The second thing the city has done was check the existing drainage systems, to make sure they are working as they were designed to.
“Years of backlog from Lafayette Parish has caused a backlog of work to be done. So we got to work right away with newly hired help and rented equipment,” he said.
The third thing was aggressively working to pursue funding for drainage components that were identified in the city’s 2015 Master Plan, and start to complete a ton of projects on their own.
“There were homes in this development that flooded, because the water in essence had no place to go. So by controlling the level of the storm water pond, it simply increases the opportunity for runoff on the streets, to be contained within this pond,” said Ritter.
Youngsville has also been awarded Hazardous Grant Mitigation dollars.
According to Ritter, the city was able to get roughly 30% of the $25 million dollars available from the 8 parish region.
That money will be used to construct 2 more storm water detention ponds.
Ritter says they are still waiting for the federal and state money to build those 2 storm water detention ponds, but says they are ready to start construction right when it arrives.