YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) — On the seven-year anniversary of a historic flood in Youngsville, residents and elected officials came together to reveal retention ponds that will prevent those floods from happening again.

“While today is certainly not a victory lap, it’s simply an update on our progress thus far,” Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter said.

Elected officials revealed the completion and opening of seven retention ponds, designed to prevent flooding during storms and heavy rain.

Ritter said the retention ponds have been a top priority since the 2016 floods that overflowed much of the city.

“Seven years ago, the 2016 flood event was a very dark day in our history,” Ritter said.

“I had an old fella tell me after a rescue, he said he had seen this much waterfall but never seen this much water rise,” U.S. Congressman Clay Higgins said. “God was not dropping more water on us. We as His children had built up our communities in a way that didn’t allow that water to drain.”

From the day of the flood, Ritter said he developed a master plan for the city that will ensure these flooding issues are avoided.

Ritter said the ponds are the result of not only the work of his team, but also community involvement, working with residents to purchase the land needed to create the ponds.

While the ponds will open up recreation areas for the public to visit, Ritter said the combined 600 acres of water storage will also accomplish the mission of protecting residents from another disaster.

“What these seven ponds do, in some areas, is lower the base flood elevation by up to a foot,” Ritter said. “The reason that’s impactful is because when you think about how much people flooded in 2016 and even since then, it’s largely just been by a couple of inches. So, this has tremendous benefit.”

Ritter said the flood mitigation work is still far from over but has more projects still to come.