Livingston Parish sees minimal storm surge flooding; residents along Amite breathe sigh of relief

Residents in lower Livingston Parish counting their blessings after Hurricane Laura

LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Each year, Wendell Babin has found himself sloshing through a bit more water in his front yard.

Growing construction around the Amite River in Livingston Parish has pushed water drainage his way and when it rains, the ditches that have not been cleared in several years fill quickly and pour out into his yard, he says.

“It is what it is,” Babin said. “The water has been coming in more and more every year. There’s a lot of construction going on and evidently the drainage is getting left behind, but we’re at the end of the spectrum as it comes to the water. We’re getting it all.”

He has seen the water rise quickly before, but never faster than in 2016, when his deck became a dock for his boat. Fortunately, his house did not flood then, but down the road, it was a different story for Matt Simoneaux.

“We lifted it up,” Simoneaux said, talking about his house after it flooded in 2016. “We redid it. Don’t want to do that again.”

Like Babin, Simoneaux has seen the waters fill his yard a little more every year.

“Pretty frequent, two, three inches of rain and I’ll get it back there through the ditches,” he said.

That’s why when the south winds started blowing and Marco and Laura took aim at Louisiana, they worried 2020 could be a repeat of previous years.

“We get cars and all out of the way and then we get our shopping down, you know, the necessary things,” Babin said.

Fortunately, all that was for naught. All the residents along the Amite got were a few flooded streets and some soggy yards, something they have all seen before.

“We used to this. It ain’t our first rodeo and thank God spared us again,” Babin said.

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