Central residents say drainage, ditches worse than ever after repairs

9News Alert Team: Central ditches

CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - Problems with ditches and drainage in Central has often been a topic of discussion for the city’s residents, but a solution to fix some of the ongoing issues may have created a new problem.

“I feel like it’s just a big mess and a lot of confusion at this point,” said Caitlin Cassidy.

Cassidy has lived in the Northwoods subdivision for five years. She says the city recently tried to repair the ditches by digging them deeper. However, they dug too deep, going below the culverts. Now, many people in the area are dealing with stagnant water in front of their homes.

(Source: WAFB)

“You can see on one side of our ditch there’s water because it’s below the culvert where they dug, and then the other side of the ditch, it’s free and clear because they didn’t dig that deep or below the culvert there,” said Cassidy.

“Several of us have made complaints because our ditches are now holding water where they didn’t before, so instead of fixing a matter, they made a matter worse,” said Beverly Floyd, another resident.

Now, many who live in the area have seen an increase in snake and mosquito activity. Cassidy, who works in healthcare, says she’s aware of the danger standing water can cause, attracting mosquitoes with life threatening diseases. Now, she’s fearful for her health.

(Source: WAFB)

“I have noticed more mosquitoes. I’ve gotten bitten like three times myself, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I hope that one didn’t have it and pass it on to me,’” she said.

We spoke with Central’s Department of Public Works. The director, Ray Louis, admits there were some miscalculations on elevations. “We’re still in that subdivision or in that area working. Any area that has the ditches that are below the elevation of the culverts, we’re bringing in field to bring them to that culvert’s elevation.”

Field is a mixture of clay and mud that can be used to fill in ditches.

Louis says they hope to have the issues resolved within two weeks, weather permitting.

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