Erosion threatening some Lake Charles homes - FOX29 Lake Charles

Erosion threatening some Lake Charles homes

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Residents along the eastern stretch of Twelfth Street in Lake Charles have been battling erosion on their properties for decades - with no help from the city or the parish, they said.

Homes are now threatened by the edge of the Kayouchee Coulee, a drainage canal, and the damage hasn't happened overnight. 

Gertie Charles, 81, has lived on Jan Street since the early '70s.

"One thing I would really like to know - how much property we've lost back here," said Charles. 

She said the drainage running off into the coulee has eroded her property since she moved there. 

"It's eroding quite a bit because, I don't know if you realize, the angle that it's taking -  I don't know how long it's going to take before it's going to start getting closer here. It's just something we're going to have to live with because they won't do anything about it," said Charles.

She and other residents have tried to get the attention of city and parish officials, but they have had no luck.

"Nothing has been done. One tells you one thing, and then someone tells you something else, so there is nowhere else to go and nothing left to do," Charles said.

Charles' property hasn't even seen the worst of the erosion that some residents are experiencing. Gravity is pulling one home down, along with many large trees. Charles said one had to be cleared just recently. 

Residents farther up the canal have complained to the Gravity Drainage Board in the past, and in 2008, the board entered into a cooperative agreement with the city to install a retaining wall, at a total cost of $500,000.

Superintendent of District 4 Ward 3 of the board, Miles Lyons, said the residents can get the wheels in motion - they just have to tell the board first. 

However, he said the drainage board doesn't have the money right now to start such a project.

"We have a lot of projects going on, and they are projects spurred from people calling us, so we need that constant feedback from the residents of the city," said Lyons.

The Gravity Drainage Board is responsible for 300 miles of drainage.

Residents with complaints are asked to call the board at 433-1160 to get their issues put on meeting agendas. The meetings are held on the first three Tuesdays of the month.

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