Drainage dilemma

Sulphur group making push for action

Heather Regan White / The American Press

<p>Cass Street in Sulphur is one of many areas that experienced unusual flooding due to excessive rain. This photo was taken after a major rain event in June of 2017.</p>HeatherMulkeyDigital Content Coordinator
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{{tncms-inline alignment="left" content="&amp;lt;p class=&amp;quot;p1&amp;quot;&amp;gt;&amp;lt;strong&amp;gt;&amp;amp;lsquo;We know we&amp;amp;rsquo;ve got a drainage problem in the city. The Police Jury has people looking at this full time and the public can&amp;amp;rsquo;t let this issue drop. We&amp;amp;rsquo;ve got to keep pushing.&amp;amp;rsquo;&amp;lt;/strong&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt; &amp;lt;p class=&amp;quot;p3&amp;quot;&amp;gt;&amp;lt;strong&amp;gt;Randy Hebert&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt; &amp;lt;/strong&amp;gt;Sulphur resident&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;" id="93127b4f-629c-4232-9f70-807cffe46eb0" style-type="quote" title="Pull Quote" type="relcontent"}}

<p class="p1">A group of concerned Sulphur residents insist citywide drainage problems are only going to get worse if the problems are not addressed now.

<p class="p1">“We know we’ve got a drainage problem in the city,” said meeting coordinator Randy Hebert. “The (Calcasieu Parish) Police Jury has people looking at this full time and the public can’t let this issue drop. We’ve got to keep pushing.”

<p class="p1">Hebert said he hopes to bring people with ideas and experience together as a united front to present these problems to agencies able to address them.

<p class="p1">“They’re going to respond to us, so if we keep pushing, they’ll keep pushing,” he said. “And it’s their voices that get heard.”

<p class="p1">In attendance were Kelvin Ellender, who retired after 30 years as a local surveyor; Jonathan Brazzell, a hydrologist and meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; District 5 councilman Stuart Moss, District 5 City Council candidates Gerrit Lawrence and Mandy Thomas; and other concerned residents.

<p class="p1">Brazzell provided the group with rainfall totals and density by area.

<p class="p1">He said there hasn’t been enough new development over the last year to explain the local flooding issues. Instead, he said, rainfall totals were far above normal. The year-end total precipitation for 2017 was 102.27 inches, a significant amount higher than the last highest level recorded in 1991 at about 90 inches.

<p class="p1">Ellender said many of the problem spots are in areas that drain under Interstate 10 like Beauregard and around Bayou d’Inde, which also happens to be where all the city’s water drains.

<p class="p1">“We need a retention pond north of Sulphur,” he said. 

<p class="p1">Ellender said Beaumont, Texas, has come up with a unique solution. 

<p class="p1">“They’ve installed soccer fields,” he said. “So the residents can use the fields, and just stay off of them when they’re flooded.” 

<p class="p1">The soccer fields serve as both community perks and retention ponds.

<p class="p1">Ellender said the city may be able to work in conjunction with Sulphur Parks and Recreation, and the CPPJ on a similar project. He also suggested reaching out to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Agency to declare about 72 acres by the Beglis Parkway I-10 on-ramp wetlands.

<p class="p1">Lawrence noted that land is already being considered for development. Ellender warned that would cause immense drainage issues for residents along Lateral 2.

<p class="p1">The group plans to continue meeting and develop a document outlining problem areas and proposed solutions.

<p class="p1"><strong>‘We know we’ve got a drainage problem in the city. The Police Jury has people looking at this full time and the public can’t let this issue drop. We’ve got to keep pushing.’</strong>

<p class="p3"><strong>Randy Hebert</strong>

<p class="p3">Sulphur resident

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