Resident in Ascension Parish worries flooding will get worse with new neighborhood

While a new 237-home subdivision is under construction, some of the homes around it are getting water where they’ve never had it before.
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 5:52 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2023 at 6:36 PM CST
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PRAIRIEVILLE, La. (WAFB) - While a new 237-home subdivision is under construction, some of the homes around it are getting water where they’ve never had it before and worry that it will only get worse.

Ricky Carmouche and his family have lived in their home off White Road for 12 years and say they’ve never had water in their yard. But Friday, Dec. 30, water engulfed his backyard and even covered his driveway.

“For one, the water has never been cloudy like this; it’s always clear drainage rainwater,” said Carmouche. “Now, we can definitely 100% say this is coming from the development.”

What was once a forest behind his backyard is now set to be a subdivision of roughly 230 new homes. But it’s not the new neighbors that have folks worried. It’s a fact the neighborhood being developed sits higher than its surroundings, which residents say is causing water to pour into their streets and yards.

“So much water capacity flows now that my culvert can’t handle it. It leaves huge streaks of sediment,” noted Carmouche.

On the other side of the development is the Longwood subdivision.

“You’ve seen pictures and stuff of that subdivision as well where it’s running into their streets, into their retention ponds. It’s the same cloudy sediment-filled wash-off,” added Carmouche.

According to Carmouche, his property sits at one of the highest points of the parish. He emphasized his issue is not with the parish but with the company developing the project for not communicating with the residents and listening to their concerns.

“We really don’t have any risk of flooding unless there’s a man-made issue that can facilitate something like that. I just want to prevent getting water into my shed, getting water into my swimming pool back here and flowing into the pool, or stuff like that where it makes my property unusable for the things I want to use it for - like my chickens, or my kids playing in the yard - and I shouldn’t have to explain that type of stuff. I want to enjoy my property without having somebody drain stuff onto my land,” explained Carmouche.

According to the developer, who did not want to speak on camera, he and his crew are in the process of installing swale ditches to direct water away from other homes. But bad weather conditions have slowed the process down.

The developer also said he plans to begin digging those ditches at some point this week. He added some of those will be permanent while others will be temporary.

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