What can the Police Jury do to help the town of Coushatta with drainage problems, especially those made apparent by recent heavy rainfall from Hurricane Harvey? At the recent meeting of the Red River Parish Police Jury, Town Councilman Peter Drake asked the Police Jury for assistance.
Drake told the jury that drainage problems in the town were made worse by the heavy rainfall. During a discussion of various problem areas, Davis said he would check to see if there is any minimum size pipes required (by the town).
Parish Road Superintendent Larry Hughes said the minimum size culvert is 15 inches in diameter for use in the parish. Parish Supervisor Jesse Davis said “We have a letter from the city (concerning drainage work) but some areas cannot be fixed right now.”
The Jury then broadened the discussion to include other areas of the parish where flooding occurred. The consensus seemed to be that with up to 19 inches of rainfall in some areas of the parish that it would be impossible to prepare to handle that much water.
It was noted by members of the jury that some landowners have installed pipes that are less than the minimum 15-inch diameter. In other cases burning leaves in ditches, accumulation of limbs and debris, and other causes have clogged ditches and culverts making it impossible for the water to drain.
Jury President Shawn Beard said, “If there are drainage pipes missing, the landowner will have to buy it.” The jury then can get the new pipe installed.
Jury members are working with the road department to get culverts replaced and ditches cleaned out where possible. Hughes said, “We will check all of the dirt roads in the parish looking for remaining damage. Where there are washed-out places, we will get it repaired.”
On Monday the Police Jury voted to transfer $500,000 from the parish’s long-term investments to fund capital assets. Supervisor Jesse Davis said the money would be used for their continuing road repair program.