Flash flooding in the Capital Region on Thursday, June 6 caused a lot of headaches for Port Allen residents. More than five inches of rainfall in an hour inundated the city’s drainage infrastructure, causing flooding to several homes.
Residents and one business owner told the council about issues they had with raw sewage backing up, flooding and blockages in the drainage system.
“The river is high, the Intracoastal is high, there is nowhere for the water to go,” Mayor Richard Lee said.
“But in our house?” Deborah Caulfield asked.
“That’s the only alternative,” Mayor Lee said.
The city’s drainage does not have pumps but operates as a gravity-flow system. As it rains, water flows from the east to the west and into the Intracoastal Canal. Water from the east must wait for water from the west to drain before it can move.
Four main ditches remove water from the city. Those are located on Rosedale Road, 14th Street, Court Street and the south side of Westside Village.
Roads and drainage supervisor Bruce Bass said the department will begin cleaning the city’s system in quadrants. Each year the department will focus on cleaning our drainage in one quadrant of the city. In four years, the process will start over with the first quadrant.
During the heavy rain, Court Street filled with six inches of water Court Street Cafe owner and Port Allen resident Jason Hammack told the council. After 11 years in business, the cafe took in water for the first time.
“I’m ready to see action,” Hammack said. “I know a lot of people here are ready to see action.”
Not many cities have systems capable of handling more than five inches of rain in a two-hour period, Bass said.
“We’re doing all we can. It matters to us, we really care,” Bass said.
Should you need assistance or sandbags during a flash flood event, call 225- 225-346-5670.