ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) Overnight heavy rainfall caused roads to flood, ditches to overflow onto roadways, and even damage to a barn rooftop.
“We’ve had heavy downpours, so of course, a lot of rain in a short period of time; you know you can have all the ditches you want; it’s just not enough. So yes, I think it had a lot to do with it, but the canals need to be dug out. The canals need to be cleaned out to get the water from the road ditches,” Parish President Jessie Bellard said.
“We have been getting a lot more rain, like everybody knows, but this area [near Georgia Ave.] of the parish has been getting pretty hard, but we have an issue with some of these laterals that cut back to Bayou Teche.”
Bellard said he is trying to understand what needs to be done to stop the flooding.
“We had some issues on the west part of the parish and a little bit by Washington. We got the funding to fix that problem, so we’re digging out some canals and some bayous over there, and by August, we should be complete with that. That’s going to stop the flooding over there, or we hope it will. But it has to be done over here [Georgia Ave.] the same way.”
“We got a million one from the state, and then we had to match up some money so that it would be about a million three. We’re in the bid stages right now on doing that on that project over there.”
He said 3.5 million dollars was spent on roadside digging in the last two years.
“We know that it’s working because we get less complaints, but the water has to leave the road ditches to get to the canals to get to the bayous, and that’s where we are. We’re in the next phase of that, but it’s whenever it comes in so fast, and the neighbors and the people just get nervous because the waters rise, and they get nervous, and I don’t blame them. I get nervous too, but if we don’t get a lot of rain at one time, usually our road ditches can handle it, but with that much rain this morning, it couldn’t.”
Bellard believes if they can get the canals cleaned out, the water can leave faster; it gets out of people’s yards quicker, and then it gets into the road ditches, and then it gets into the canal more quickly.
“Everybody wants to do their roads okay, and I’m going to do the streets trust me. It doesn’t pay me to fix these roads. If I don’t have drainage, the water gets on the road and stays on the roads. The subsurface gets all deteriorated, and then we don’t have any more footing, so we have a problem. So we’re fixing the drainage. Hopefully, that’s going to help us all out. We’re gonna be spending a lot of money on drainage in the next couple of years, so I’m hoping to get more funding from the state and federal government as well,” he tells News 10.
Jason Hargroder said he has been living in his neighborhood since 1978, and for the first time, he experienced something he never did before.
“It was pretty bad. I mean, there were branches down everywhere, flooding. I was actually awake whenever it happened, but it was like 4:30 in the morning,” He said disappointedly. “I built this barn by myself. I actually tore a barn down that was 100 years old and reused the wood to build mine.”
The storm, Hargroder believed, was a twister that took off the roof on one side of one of the wings of his barn and threw it into the pasture next to his home.
Unfortunately, he said the insurance doesn’t cover his barn because he has animals in it and it’s considered an agricultural building.
“You can buy a special policy for it. It’s like $1000 a year, and I didn’t know that. I’m gonna rebuild it, and I’ll buy the insurance,” he said.
His barn houses seven cows and one horse. Bellard said if you have issues with flooding or need help, call his office at 337-948-3688.