Fifty two days ago rain poured and homes flooded all around St. Charles Parish in a deluge that caught many residents by surprise. Today many residents experienced weather deja vu as rain fell and streets and yards became rivers once again.
Samantha de Castro, parish director of communications, said Tuesday as of 7:30 p.m. that 14 homes had been reported as flooded.
“It’s trouble in paradise,” Danielle Clement, who lives on Ormond Village Drive in Destrehan, said. “Every time it rains my husband goes and makes sure the drains are not clogged with leaves and debris. My husband raked drains for two hours today … thank God the rain slowed down … We just flooded May 14 and just got back into our house. He also saved our house in December of 2018.”
Jim and Harriet Kirn moved to Ormond Meadows in Destrehan after their home in New Orleans flooded with Hurricane Katrina.
“It seems to have gotten a lot worse lately,” Jim said of rising rain. “We looked out the door today and it was fine, and then twenty minutes later it was a river out there.”
Jim said he cleans the drains around his home often, even doing so two days ago.
“I know they were cleared when the rain started,” he said. “Our home is raised and so we were safe, but I don’t know why insurance companies won’t just pay to raise all these homes instead of redoing them constantly.”
Destrehan resident Karen Nagele, who lives on Ducayet Drive, is part of a Facebook group called “Stop Our Flooding.” She said the group was started after the May flood to share information with other residents, adding many members of the group started to meet with St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell to discuss flooding and drainage issues.
“The more houses they build, the less green land there is to absorb the water,” she said, adding the upgrade of drainage pipes is only one part of a larger equation to stop flooding.
Nagele’s home is raised, therefore it did not flood earlier this year or today. She did, however, lose three cars in May.
“We bought a new Mustang two days before the flood,” she said of the May rain event. “Our house was fine because we raised it, but our houses and yards serve as a retention pond for surrounding areas.”
The most heart-breaking sight of her day, Nagele said, was to see her neighbors’ PODS flooding.
“There are debris lines on their PODS,” she said. “Those PODS are holding the little bit of possessions they were able to save in May.”