Coteau residents concerned recent construction to blame for area flooding

Posted at 9:13 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 22:13:16-04

Some residents in Coteau are concerned that recent construction is to blame for flooding in the area.

The owner of Genesis Oilfield Pipe and Supply says residents want area officials to listen to them because the flooding is becoming too much to handle.

EC Gabehart explained that flooding has been an issue on and off since 2015, when the state built a service road to accommodate Highway 90. He said the road is three feet higher than surrounding land, and since the road was installed the area has seen flooding three times. Once, the water got as high as 26" in his 10,000 square foot building. The flooding from this week's storms brought about 13-15", he said.

"It's pretty bad when you have fish in your yard after it rains," said Gabehart.

Business owners have spoken with DOTD, state representatives, and other officials, trying to get some help.

"I'm begging the state and parish to get out here and clean these ditches, open up these ditches and waterways, and get us to drain," Gabehart said.

One problem business owners experience is with insurance companies, according to Gabehart. He says the response can be "really slow," and it can sometimes take 6-8 months to receive any money. Gabehart also said businesses have vendors and customers to answer to, along with insurance companies, which can be difficult, especially if important paperwork is lost or damaged during flooding.

The last time it flooded, it took about three weeks to clean up, but Gabehart said this time it will probably be two days before he and his employees can get in the building.

Gabehart asked area residents to reach out to their state representatives and the parish if they'd like to help out.

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