Hundreds of drains cleaned in Denham Springs

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When thunder, howling winds and sheets of rain take over, many in Denham Springs still get worried.

"Put it this way, I have a bag packed. When we start getting that hard rain and it looks like it's not draining, I'm getting out," said Melinda Mayeux.

Mayeux has lived in Denham Springs since 1992 and said the drainage in the city has only gotten worse.

"When I first moved here, we would have a bad rain like we did the week Cindy came through and within 30 minutes of the rain stopping, the streets would be dry. It has gradually gotten worse and worse to the point that water will stand for an hour and a half," said Mayeux.
That's why Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry said since June, crews have identified 400 locations with drainage problems in the city. All day Tuesday, crews worked on the Donald Rd. canal pulling out a mattress, trash can, shopping cart and even small table. They also used rope to grab large logs. All that is then hauled off in dump trucks.

Plus, 6,000 feet of concrete canals have been cleaned.

"We had to take a systematic approach to make this happen so we started with the larger canals that drain to the river and drain to Grace Creek to make sure that the debris and silt were gone from the larger canals," said Mayor Landry.
More than 250 catch basins were vacuum lifted and cleaned of all the silt left behind from the August flood. A white X means it's been cleaned.

"After they did their work, you could start seeing dry patches within 30 minutes but it still stood in the corners and middle of the road for a while," said Mayeux.

 But then there are issues like standing water that should not be there. That means there's a blockage in a pipe. Mayor Landry said they're looking to hire a contractor to help with that.

As for ditches in your yards, "For the most part, it's the homeowner's responsibility to make sure the trash is out of it," said Mayor Landry.

Mayor Landry said he realizes the city has a long way to go for drainage issues.

"None of this work can be done in a year. If it takes us two or three years, we're going to continue to plug away at this till we can make a significant difference," said Mayor Landry.

Just because crews are not working in specific neighborhoods does not mean they're not addressing those neighborhoods. In fact, many neighbors drain into bigger canals, culverts and drains so clearing those out will actually help reduce the flooding in neighborhoods.

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