GONZALES — A resident in one of the city’s neighborhoods hit hardest by Hurricane Isaac asked the Gonzales City Council to find solutions to some of the city’s drainage issues.
Scott Hughes, a resident of North Janice Avenue in the Fife subdivision, offered ideas for solving some of the problems he believes caused several houses in his neighborhood to flood following Isaac.
City officials can start with cleaning out the ditches and culverts in the area, Hughes told the council during its meeting Monday, so that water can flow more quickly out of the neighborhood. In addition, he said, downed trees in the swamp area south of the neighborhood also caused water to stay in the neighborhood’s streets and yards.
“There hasn’t been a lot of work done in there in many, many years,” said Hughes, who said he had as much as 21 inches of water in his yard, including 10 inches at his front door.
Mayor Barney Arceneaux said the Fife subdivision was one of two in the city that were affected most by Isaac, as streets in the Southwood subdivision off La. 30 also were flooded.
After Hurricane Gustav in 2008, Councilman Kenny Matassa said, city officials made requests for some drainage aid in the swamp south of the neighborhood and they should look into doing so again.
Mayor Pro Tem Joe Waguespack said he and Councilman John Cagnalotti both were familiar with Fife’s flooding problems because they are former residents. He recalled having to put sandbags around his house in the 1970s to prevent it from flooding.
Alvin Broussard, the city’s public works director, said city workers filled 13,000 sandbags for distribution before and after the storm and have picked up more than 200 truckloads of limbs with “some more out there we have to get.”
While sympathizing with Hughes’ plight and vowing to address the situation, Arceneaux said the city fared better than expected following Isaac. He said city, parish and emergency preparedness officials had a “very united effort” in managing the situation.
David Herring, a spokesman for Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, said 20,000 customers in Ascension Parish were without power during the height of Isaac, but everyone rallied to remedy the problem as quickly as possible.