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St. Martin Parish: One year after historic flood - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

St. Martin Parish: One year after historic flood

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St. Martin Parish flood St. Martin Parish flood
ST. MARTIN PARISH, La. -

On the one year anniversary of the historic flood, KATC looks back at how St. Martin Parish is bouncing back.

Flood waters sat in parts of the parish for nearly 40 days. Now, the parish government is using $21 million in rededicated tax money to dredge waterways and perform other drainage improvements.

The parish will also get a piece of the $30 million granted to Acadiana for regional drainage work.

But many homes in the parish are still sitting vacant.

KATC's Travis Guillory first interviewed Michael LeBlanc one year ago when he was boating people to and from their homes.

Today LeBlanc said, "It's just the way I was raised, the way I grew up. Always lend a hand and help somebody out. You can't just see somebody struggle and not help. You know?"

Many of LeBlanc's neighbors are still struggling to get back on their feet. 

He explained, "There's two houses back there that they still haven't come back. I don't know. They just abandoned (their houses). The grass is grown. Actually, the guy right here is still working on his house. That's from last year."

Today, St. Martin Parish government is cleaning out canals and waterways to make sure severe flooding doesn't happen again.

Parish President Guy Cormier said, "For the next three years, we're going to be doing extensive drainage work throughout the parish. Not only are we doing that. We're going to continue to keep this regional conversation alive so that we can long-term set some goals from a regional perspective and allow us as a region to be able to shed our water a little bit easier than it was done in the past."

And although homes and lives were destroyed, LeBlanc says some good did come from the flood. He said, "Everybody is a lot friendlier now and knows everybody by name now. A lot of the time, we never knew the people on the back roads. Now, everybody pretty much knows everybody." 

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