Lafayette family wants answers after home floods for fourth time in five years

Lafayette family repairs home for fourth time after flooding
Posted at 3:30 AM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 07:26:11-04

16 years ago, Jenny and Nicholas Best moved into their home on Crawford Drive in Lafayette.

In the years that followed, they built a life in that home, welcoming two children, and hosting family functions.

All seemed to fall into place.

Then the flood of 2016 flooded their home.

"Basically, we got water in our Master Bedroom at that point," Nicholas said. "We thought it was isolated and not that big of a deal--everyone got flooding that year. As the years have progressed we've gotten water four--five times now.

It would be the first of several more times that their home would flood.

Now, in 2021, the couple said they just want answers.

"The worst part for me is not knowing if it's going to happen and having to tell my kids that more of their things are ruined," Jenny said.

After their home flooded in May, Jenny said she was hopeful that they would get some answers from the City of Lafayette as to why this keeps happening.

"Initially, they were pretty responsive in May," Jenny said.

Nicholas said someone who came out to the home told them that there was a cracked culvert under one of the covered ditches in their neighborhood. That, the person said, could have been the problem.

"They sent an engineer as well. He came out and did everything to get a size up on the situation," Nicholas said. "He told me they were going to do everything they had to do. That's the last we hear of them. That would have been sometime in June."

And then, just a few weeks ago, another rain. It was so bad that Jenny said she could not get home to check on things. Once the water receded, she realized it happened again.

"It had actually gone into our Master Bedroom and into our daughter's room as well," Jenny said. "It's just a lot more work. We've prepared for flooding--our house in not a waterfront property--it's hard to come home to that. Just have more an more things to clean up. Even if the stuff isn't ruined it still causes a lot of stress."

Over the last year, Jenny and Nicholas have done their best to waterproof the inside and outside of their home. They took all of the flooring up and stained the concrete, they stopped the drywall before it touches the floor, and used a PVC pipe type material for the molding.

"We have flood barriers that are supposed to stop the water from coming in, that's the perimeter of the house. We've sandbagged our property, lifted the foundation of our property, we've added trenches, gutters, we've done everything as homeowners that we possibly could," Jenny said.

I reached out to Lafayette City Officials and Brian Smith, director of drainage, emailed back saying:

The Drainage Department has received requests and reports of flooding and/or blockages along Crawford including address 117 on several occasions over the summer. On most occasions it was following rain events of high intensity in short durations causing the roadside drainage ditches and outfall to be exceeded in capacity as designed. I am not familiar with the markers you mentioned but can share that Drainage responds to the calls received and the drainage system was found to be clear of obstructions during those times. The Department will schedule culvert flushing within the next week to further insure the drainage pipes are clean and reassess the ditch grades.

In research of 117 Crawford, that location is located within Special Flood Hazard Area – AE and assistance to residents may be available through FEMA with qualifying programs. A good resource to learn more about programs or options available for flood hazard areas can also be found on the LCG website under the Development and Planning page.

As for Jenny and Nicholas, while the stress of what is next lingers every time it rains, they said they will continue to fight for their home and the neighborhood they love.