New neighborhood causes flood concerns for some nearby homeowners

New construction concerns in Zachary
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 11:05 AM CST

ZACHARY, La. (WAFB) - Several residents in Zachary are concerned about a new neighborhood going up behind their houses because they said the development has barely started and they are already seeing water in their yards.

One homeowner talked about how he is worried that his house will flood when the construction is finished.

Behind Johnny Padon’s home sits the makings of unwanted neighbors. For the last week, he said he has watched construction crews at the soon-to-be Zachary Farms Subdivision pump water into the servitude behind his house and into his backyard, leaving a soggy mess.

“They are just draining their water in our backyards,” said Padon. “I don’t know if that was purposely done or if someone just mistakenly did it, but at the same time, if we ever get a three-day rain, where is that water going to go?”

Plans for the new neighborhood show a portion of the subdivision draining through an additional servitude that’s set to be constructed parallel to Padon’s Audubon Lakes neighborhood. He’s worried that won’t be enough, citing the amount of water already sitting in his yard.

“They need to do something better than just let it drain into the servitude. I mean, that water is going to stay there. At some point, it’s going to rise up and get our property,” he explained.

John Hopewell, Zachary’s city attorney, said inspectors have gone out to the site to ensure developers are abiding by code. At this time, he said nothing is out of the ordinary.

“The water that is there is within the established drainage servitude, so there’s really not any enforcement at this point and time the city is ready to take,” added Hopewell.

That does not ease Padon’s anxieties, though. He said he’s never had water in his yard before and he doesn’t want it in his house.

“[Another] 2016 [flood event] can happen at any time but two [or] three days of rain and you have two neighborhoods draining through one spot. Something is bound to flood,” he noted.

“There’s not anything out there that would lead me to believe that is the case, and obviously, during construction, there’s going to be water, probably, in places it shouldn’t be but that’s essentially why we have drainage servitudes,” explained Hopewell.

Developer Art Lancaster said he has not heard that water was going into the adjacent neighborhood. He added he will reach out to the contractor to see what is going on.

Inspectors are slated to go back out to the property to ensure there is no blockage of that drainage servitude.

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