NEW ROADS, La. (WAFB) - Flooding is a threat and fear many people share. But for one neighborhood in Pointe Coupee Parish, it’s so bad that it’s forcing the community to start over in a new location.
The Pecan Acres neighborhood has flooded 17 times in the past 30 years. That’s why the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) is relocating the neighborhood to higher ground up north near Nelson Lane on LA 10. Now, the parish, is going to use the land to improve drainage.
“We’re ready to move so we don’t have to worry about water getting into our house anymore,” said Ethel Stewart. She and her husband, James, have lived on Pecan Drive West for 47 years now.
“I love my house, but I don’t want to go through all this water anymore, and the rest of them [neighbors] feel the same way. Everybody’s tired of the water,” said Stewart.
Residents say the root of their flooding problems begins with a canal right on the edge of the neighborhood. Whenever a hard rain hits, the water begins to rise, entering the streets.
The area of Pecan Acres lives up to its nickname, “Flood City.”
But soon, residents like Ethel will be resettling in a new neighborhood, thanks to help from a number of government agencies.
“There’s 40 households in the community that we’re moving. People have the choice to either find another house somewhere and buy it, or move to the new community,” said Pat Forbes with OCD.
On Wednesday, Sept. 11, OCD got feedback from residents on what their new neighborhood could look like.
“It doesn’t cost the parish a dime,” said Major Thibaut, Pointe Coupee parish president.
Thibaut says this project will get neighbors out of harm’s way and improve drainage throughout the parish.
“Their subdivision is basically going to be turned into more retention area, which takes some drainage stress off of surrounding streets and neighborhoods,” said Thibaut.
As for Ethel, she just hopes that soon she won’t have to worry about flooding again.
“Everybody wants to enjoy their life before they leave here. Getting too old for it now,” she said.
Once an environmental study is completed, construction on the new neighborhood could start as early as July of 2020, with families possibly moving in by April of 2021.