Ascension Parish residents frustrated over recent floods

Ascension Parish leaders discussed the area's recent flash flooding on Monday night, while some members of the public wondered if more could have been done to prevent widespread damage.

"We had historic and I repeat, historic amounts of rainfall," said Parish Drainage Director Bill Roux.

Roux told parish council members that some parts of the parish received more than 15 inches of rain in a 17-hour stretch and called the event a perfect storm.

"You had a lot of things happening preventing this water from getting out. We have all this come together and the type of event we had the water just can't get out and when it does it overflows and stays," added Roux.

Roux's words however did little to comfort homeowner after homeowner who addressed the amount of sandbags available, pumping stations used, and even future solutions.

"Where do we go with this?" asked Ron Bourgeois. "Who has the knowledge to figure this out? None of you all evidently."

"They have so much capacity at Lamar Dixon we don't use. Why don't they just have 10,000 bags just sitting there?" asked John Farrell.

"We are fed up. We are tired," said Dana Cassie. "We are the ones paying taxes, but we're the ones that are suffering."

Some also voiced concerns about folks living in the Astroland area who were unable to get help from emergency response personnel during the flooding. That was a problem acknowledged by Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez.

"I was told the same thing that the ambulance came but had to turn around because they said they couldn't go through high water and also the sheriff's office with their equipment. They  were afraid they would go off the road," said Martinez.

That response not good enough for Parish Councilman Travis Turner, who said perfect storm or not, changes need to be made.

"The residents of our parish as they said earlier are paying taxes and as a councilman I'm ashamed that had to occur and that problem has to be fixed before the next event occurs," said Turner.

Parish officials say they also plan on opening the Diversion Canal and Amite River on Tuesday.

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