Construction of new Broussard school raises concerns on drainage - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Construction of new Broussard school raises concerns on drainage

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A new school in broussard is raising concerns from homeowners who live nearby.

The new Billeaud Elementary School on Marteau Road and Fairfield Drive is not in a flood zone, but nearby neighborhoods are and residents are worried that the new construction could impact their drainage.

"And it's not too fun being flooded," said Joan Annis who lives in the neighborhood behind that property in a flood-prone home. She's been living there for nearly 40 years and has flooded four times.

"I'm a widow and the neighbors have been wonderful. I call them my angels and they come help me. The people over here in front of me, they had to carry me out of here because I wasn't going to leave my home," said Annis.

With new construction coming in, she and others who live in the area are afraid it could cause more flooding.

"Yes, very scary, very scary. If you look in my garage I still have sandbags and around the house I still have sandbags," she said.

"I'm worried about it," said Annis' neighbor Brenda Garcia, who's home also flooded. "I'm worried about it because if they build it up where is the water going to go?"

But the school's architect, Jeffery Augustine, said the school's drainage won't harm those homes.

"What we're doing is not going to really affect them, I would assume, negatively but rather positively because we're increasing our drainage and therefore it won't be overflowing further south into their areas," said Augustine.

He said crews will expand the ditch that runs through the property and will build detention ponds that can withstand a 25-year flood.

Detention ponds are designed to detain the water then slowly release it so that there's no standing water on the site other than during heavy rain events, Augustine said.

"And in order to reduce the size of our detention and create better efficiency, as part of our project, we're going to clean out that existing latitude not only on our property but approximately 1700 linear feet going South East," he said.

They are going to clear out the ditch and expand to increase its capacity. And the City of Broussard will be discussing the introduction of an ordinance to cover the cost of the improvements of the ditch going through Marteau Road onto the school's property.

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