Community on Amite River frustrated by response to disappearing - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Community on Amite River frustrated by response to disappearing land

Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB

The situation on Cypress Point Lane in Livingston Parish is becoming a race against the clock and residents are becoming frustrated with the response from leaders. 

The subdivision sits along the Amite River. When it rose during the historic August flood, yards extending 20 or 30 feet behind each home washed away. 

In the weeks since the flood, large chunks of the ground continue to fall away into the river below, exposing pilings that hold up the homes. 

RELATED: Amite River swallows land, threatens homes in French Settlement

"We just don't know where to go from here," said homeowner Marty Daniels. 

When he purchased his home, it had a large backyard overlooking the river. It is gone now. The concern is his home could be next. 

"We need a path to recovery. If this were your typical scenario, we would have flood damage and we would have gutted the home, added Sheetrock, we would be rebuilding already, but these homes can't do that," Daniels said. 

Many homeowners do not want to start work until they learn whether local leaders intend to do anything to protect the subdivision. Some are holding out hope that they will install a brand new retaining wall. 

On Friday, Sept. 2, they got word that the 10 homes on the river could be condemned, but those letters were never sent. 

RELATED: Cypress Point homes condemned due to Amite River flooding

Resident Kevin Odom still has dirt under his home. He believes he could build a new bulkhead and keep his home. However, he does not want to invest in a fix if his home is condemned. 

"I don't necessarily want to spend that money until I have a good idea that everybody's rowing the boat in the same direction," Odom said. 

With each passing day, however, his personal fix could become less of a possibility as more land disappears. 

"These people are sitting there basically with their homes hanging off the edge of the river," said Rep. Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales. 

Schexnayder said he is frustrated by the response from leaders to the situation at Cypress Point and said leaders on the local, state, and national level need to meet to discuss a solution to the problem. 

"We need to figure out if we’re going to pay for this. Who’s going to pay for this? If we’re not, we need to go and tell these people that’s what we’re going to do. Right now, they have no clue," he said. 

Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks said those meetings are ongoing and stressed that Cypress Point has not been forgotten. 

"We're not trying to punt the problem down the road. We're trying to get everyone together to figure out what we can do. What is the plan? So we can let the people in the subdivision know because that's what's going to determine if I trigger the condemnation letters or not," Ricks said. 

Ricks said he has written the letters of condemnation, though will not distribute them until he learns what options exist for the community. 

Those possibilities could be discussed Wednesday when he meets with the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. 

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