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Drainage projects to begin in St. Landry Parish

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 18:27:56-04

OPELOUSAS — "Another three inches it would have achieved my porch," Marcus Amos said on Tuesday.

Amos says the water was so high over Parks Street, residents couldn't leave their neighborhood. Dozens of his chickens drowned due to flood waters in his yard.

"The next big rain, this neighborhood and the next three over, we're in trouble. We will need that truck in St. Landry Parish to come get us out."

Amos says the issue is in the coulee next to his house. He tells KATC debris from previous storms was not cleaned out.

"We have to do a better job at cleaning those canals and bayous," St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard said.

Bellard acknowledges the lack of maintenance he says happened before he took office.

"We've been having problems in our parish for years. These recent storms last year have made it worse. All these downed trees, we're trying to get that out of the bayou. Without that happening, we're going to continue to flood," Bellard said.

The Parish President says contracted crews are already beginning part of a plan to prevent future flooding.

"We're going to clean from Lawtell all the way to the parish line at Bayou Mallet. It's going to remove all these trees that are just blocking. They won't dredge it, but they'll clean it out," Bellard said,

Bellard tells KATC the state gave the parish more than $400,000 to help with the project. Another part of the plan in place includes a study to add wider pipes to Bayou Ami and raising eroded roads, which will happen sometime next year.

He expects the cleaning project to be done by the end of next month.