Lafayette - Last week the Lafayette City Council approved millions of dollars in new spending for various drainage projects.
This comes days after torrential rains brought flash flooding throughout Lafayette
The director of public works Chad Nepveaux who says they’ve been planning these projects dating back to last year.
"Over the last 6 to 8 months, we’ve been studying and assessing potential detention projects and what happened on Tuesday night was the subsequent funding necessary to try to move those projects forward," Nepveaux said.
Following the severe weather that brought flash floods across town on May 17, he says that was the catalyst for the emergency meeting last Thursday where the additional 20 million dollars was approved towards the dredging of the Vermilion River.
"We had a terrible event on Monday and the river was at around 10 [feet] which is flood stage. So it was more or less Monday’s event layered on top of a previous event and it really caused a lot of problems," he said.
These projects will first focus on immediate flood concerns to places such as downtown Lafayette and over 100 residential areas that experienced flooding. Nepveaux says it’s especially important to get the ball rolling with hurricane season right around the corner.
"They’re predicting another busy season this year, we certainly want to be prepared and we’ve expedited all our efforts and put priority on as many projects as we can complete in a short period of time," he said.
He says everyone will be working hard to make Lafayette safer when mother nature strikes.
"All hands are on deck to really identify the problem areas, a lot of them are historical. The efforts we’re putting forth are going to contribute in a positive way in these areas."
Nepveaux also says one of their biggest challenges to drainage maintenance is keeping drains and sewers free of debris and trash, factors that contribute to flooding during severe weather events such as what we saw last week.