Gonzales neighborhood plagued by flooding to be demolished

1 month ago WBRZ 0

GONZALES – James Lemieux has lived on East Silverleaf for a few years, but he’ll soon be leaving. 

“Just the fact that we do flood all the time,” he said. “It’s not unlivable, but it is a pain getting that water in the yard for a couple days.”

The street of homes was built in the 80s in a low-elevation area and constantly floods.

“To my knowledge, there’s always been problems. But the rain events we experience now are more intense, and so there’s a bigger threat,” explained Jackie Baumann, Gonzales City Engineer. 

Many of the homes are surrounded by sandbags at all times because the flooding is too frequent to pick them up. 

Two years ago the city decided to move forward with a federal buyout of the land, but every one of the 41 homeowners had to be on board for it to work. Now they’ve finally all agreed.

“We just don’t want to risk it again. We don’t want to risk getting flooded out again,” Lemieux said. 

It hasn’t been easy though, many of the homeowners are unhappy with the dollar amounts being offered to them. 

“No, not everyone is going to come out financially ahead,” Baumann said. “Every family has had to look at this offer and consider debt that they have, medical issues that they have, lots of factors.”

After everyone has left, the homes and street will be demolished as the city returns the land back to the wetlands it used to be.