VILLE PLATTE, La. (KLFY) – Some residents in Ville Platte fear flooding in the near future because a drainage canal that runs through the heart of the city hasn’t been cleaned in years.
Mitchell Arnaud says the sediment and trash in the canal has built up for years.
Dirt from the embankment above, combined with litter like bicycles and ice chests make it difficult for wildlife to swim and water to flow.
“If we would get this sediment buildup removed we could put more volume of water in our canals and the water would flow quicker out of the city.”
Instead, Arnaud says a few inches of rain forces water out of the canal and onto the streets.
“It used to take 6 to 8 inches of water to fill it up, now it only takes 3 inches of water because we have so much runoff on the east side of town coming through our canal system.”
During heavy rain, Arnaud says about a foot of water fills major roadways, affecting businesses, schools, and emergency personnel.
“It affects every anisette of our community. Businesses don’t feel like coming into a community if there are flooding issues.”
We spoke to Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine who says the city does not have the equipment to clean the canal on its own.
We also spoke with Evangeline Parish Police Jury President Ryan Williams who says the parish will work closely with city officials to fix the problem.
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Williams says the machinery used to clean canals is on a four to six-month rotation with the parishes 9 districts.
He expects the equipment to be available in the Ville Platte area by January 2019.