Posted: Nov 23, 2010 6:17 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Nov 23, 2010 7:14 PM
Flooding problems are nothing new in New Iberia's west end. Now...relief is on the way. Fifty five Louisiana cities...including New Iberia...will be sharing 30 million dollars to better handle flooding. The funds are finally available because of damage done by Hurricane Gustav.
During most days the Armenco Canal is quite and the water level is low, but every time a hurricane or any significant storm blows in....its the source of heartache for many New Iberia residents.
Resident, Lounette James, said "flood water has come underneath and messed up the skirting and the insulation at the bottom at least four times if not more."
Charlane colbert explained, "storm, or hurricane or whatever. We've just been lucky we didn't lose anything, but a lot of people back here have lost everything."
Colbert has lived in the same house for twenty eight years. Shesays every year she's seen flood waters outside her window.
"You can't go anywhere, you can't drive anything, unless you are going to walk in that nasty water," she said.
Council member, Peggy Gerac, said "they are held hostage up to three or four days when it floods back here."
Gerac has been urging the city to come up with a solution for years and now thanks to two million dollars in federal funds.... residents may soon see relief.
Right now the Armenco Canal feeds into Vermilion Bay. Once the project is complete, the water will be rerouted to the Bayou Teche, but that is still about three years down the road.
New Iberia Mayor, Hilda Curry, said "we've begun the project. We've begun the right away work with the engineers and also the design."
James says she isn't getting her hopes up.
She said, "I'll believe this is going to be done after I see we are not being flooded anymore."
All together the canal will cost an estimated 5.6 million dollars. The city is one million dollars short now, but Mayor Curry says she's confident they will be able to get the funding through other grants.