City of Central working to fix drainage issues lingering from 2016 flood

CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - There are machines and boots on the ground as flooding concerns build up ahead of Memorial Day weekend. The City of Central has made progress in cleaning out ditches and drains, but some say they haven't done enough.

Driving through Central, you can't help but notice work crews in the ditches. Since the 2016 flood, the city has been trying to address drainage issues. However, locals say there're still major problems with flooding. Mayor Junior Shelton says they're listening and they're hard working hard to fix the issues.

"We have spent right at $4 million with this project. We have taken out well over 2,000 tons of dead vegetation and foreign matter. We know that it has helped, but there's a lot more to do," said Shelton.

Central and surrounding areas have worked to clear ditches and culverts to help with the flow of water. Some problem areas have been completely replaced.  Those efforts will soon be put to the test as the state prepares for a storm, which is expected to make landfall early next week.

Along Amite Church Road, you can see construction on some of the ditches and culverts to help with some of the drainage issues, but residents are still concerned, especially with potential heavy rains coming in this weekend.

"We're just fearful that the drainage is not gonna' be adequate, you know, if we have another storm like we did in '16," said Kevin Schultz, a resident who has lived in Central for about a year.

While Kevin hasn't lived in the area long, his wife has been there for over three years. She got three and a half feet of water from the 2016 flood. He hopes there will be some major changes soon.

"Maybe have some town hall meetings where people in local areas can reach out and maybe point out things that they've overlooked. I think that they're trying. I think that they're doing a great job, but but still needs to  be more, and a little bit more aggressive," said Schultz.

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