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Calcasieu Parish to begin expansive hurricane debris cleanup to improve drainage

Lake Charles Debris pickup
Posted at 3:35 PM, Nov 15, 2021

Calcasieu Parish officials say hurricane debris removal from parish drainage laterals is underway.

It is work, the Calcasieu Pairsh Police Jury says is expected to take more than a year to complete. Crowder Gulf, the company contracted to do the work, has already collected more than 99,000 cubic yards of debris so far in laterals in the Lake Charles watershed in Phase 1A.

The project to remove debris from Hurricanes Laura and Delta is projected to cost around $100 million, up to 90% of which will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We are thrilled about this large-scale debris removal program in Calcasieu,” said Police Jury President Brian Abshire. “The cleanup is crucial to improve our drainage throughout the parish and is an essential part of our recovery from these devastating storms.”

To receive the 90% reimbursement, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury says they must adhere to strict FEMA guidelines. As FEMA approves various plans submitted, the debris removal will begin in other phases in laterals around the parish, which will run concurrently.

Phase 1 projects will concentrate on the largest laterals and continue through phase 4, which includes the smallest. The project will consist of 22 sub-phases over the next year. A total of 1,316 miles of laterals will be cleared of debris in the project, the police jury says.

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury began the process of scoping the program, identifying debris, and obtaining permits and various federal agency approvals in 2020, following Hurricane Laura. The Police Jury approved cooperative endeavor agreements with the two Calcasieu Parish drainage districts to allow the program to begin May 27, 2021, and the Jury selected Crowder Gulf as the contractor July 1, 2021.

Debris removal in phase 1A began in early October, 2021.

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