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WALKER, LA (WAFB) -
Caught between politics? That's what a man in Livingston Parish says is keeping him from getting help. Jim Deal lives in between the City of Denham Springs and the City of Walker, but can't get help from either. In the meantime, Deal says he's watching his property wash away.
"I had quite a bit of land," Deal said. "It was nice, beautiful."
Behind his house he planted a small orchard of lemons, limes, peaches and oranges. He says he planned it mainly for his grandchildren so they'd have fresh fruit to eat.
When Deal bought the land 20 years ago, he says he envisioned a place for his family to relax. That's one reason he and his wife enjoyed the creek so much. He still likes to get out in his yard, but it's a little harder for him. He can't walk very much and has to use a scooter.
"You feel that hole right there, that's big one there," Deal said, running over one of many places where his yard has caved in.
Deal says 15 years ago, after the parish president put in a temporary bulkhead to stop his land from washing away after a good rain. Now, it's falling apart on one side. Deal says when he asked the parish years ago to fix it, he was told there was no money.
He says he then went to the City of Walker, they sent him to the City of Denham Springs who sent him to the Gravity Drainage Board.
"You're on a list with the Corp of Engineers," Deal says he was told. "Problem is they say they're shorthanded. They don't know when they can or can't get to you. All I can do is wait. Well, that was six or seven months ago and I'm still waiting."
All the while, he's steadily losing his house.
Along the side of the creek, there are exposed tree roots and layers of sand, rock and concrete that Deal had hauled in to save his property. But it to is crumbling, he says, when the water in the creek rises.
"100 feet long, 12 feet down and 10 feet out. I mean you figure it out. That's a lot of my land that's going. And you guys saw, my house is dipping."
The problem is not just with the creek, it's also affecting his home. The kitchen in his house has already been leveled once because of the foundation, but now it's falling down again.
Then there's the cracks in the bricks at the back of his house. That problem is causing the french doors to slant.
Deal says what he wants is a solution from someone, so maybe he can enjoy his home again.
"I don't know what else to do."
After calling Livingston's Gravity Drainage District #5, we were told they requested a permit in March from the Corp of Engineers, for the work on Mr. Deal's property.
Mr. Deal says he too got a call, from the Corp saying they would start work on his project this coming Tuesday.