Major drainage projects underway to help flooding in St. Martin Parish

St. Martin Parish

ST. MARTIN PARISH, La (KLFY) — Flooding in St. Martin Parish, where over 50,000 people call home, is not an uncommon problem for residents, but Parish President Chester Cedars says help is finally coming.

This comes after the parish invested $20 million into major drainage projects.

“We’re very excited about starting, at last, these major projects, and I think the project is going to be well-served,” Cedars said.

He says all the way back in 2016, the parish got $20 million to spend on major drainage projects from taxpayers.

After five years of planning, Cedar says they’re now ready to break ground on many of them, including dredging Catahoula Lake and the Cypress Bayou Cooley Canal.

“We’re simply tired, not even tired but more so frustrated, by the fact that we have issues that have taken us so long, to get the permits to address those issues. But you know, that’s just the way it is. You can do one of two things. You can either complain or you can get off your rear and get to work,” Cedars said, in reference to the regulatory procedures and permits that have caused delays in the project’s start date for years.

Cedars says the drainage projects won’t just help St. Martin Parish. He says it’ll help flooding in Broussard, Youngsville, and surrounding areas as far as Rapides Parish.

“The voters of St. Martin Parish told us loudly and clearly. Our public works people took that message to heart, and our elected officials took that message to heart. We got off our rear-ends, and we’re doing something very, very pro-active. I’m very excited about that,” Cedars told News Ten.

The first of these drainage projects will begin this fall. Cedars says it’s hard to say when the entire project will be completed, but it’s getting done.

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