Vessel leads council in water relief issue

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley

Gonzales citizen Henry Brown may have helped the city solve some of its flooding issues. Brown approached the city council at its June 23 meeting with concerns for why his home received water from even “a light rain.”

Before the meeting, Brown, who lives on Oak Street, said he talked to councilman Tim Vessel and pointed out exactly what causes water to back up into his home. In the meeting, Vessel said he told the council about the problem back in March, now it has surfaced.

Vessel told the council, the area Brown is referring used to be maintained by the city when he worked for it over 15 years ago.

“These people are looking for relief,” Vessel said. “This ditch has grown up and it makes the water back up on Mr. Brown.”

Mayor Barney Arceneaux said there was a discussion a while back with Gonzales City Public Works Supervisor Alvin Broussard. Broussard told the council he sent the information to the East Ascension Drainage Department Director Bill Roux. However, nothing had been done.

“Apparently we aren’t taking care of it and the major drainage isn’t taking care of so ultimately the people of Gonzales aren’t being taken care of,” Vessel said.

Vessel went on to point out in picture probable causes of why the water floods homes like Brown’s, and the streets of Gonzales.

“I told ya’ll the flaps needed to be placed on the other side back in March but evidently nobody listened to me and looked into it,” Vessel said. “So now the water is coming in by the funeral home. That’s why Brown is getting so much water so fast. We are failing to put the proper things in place.”

Vessel suggested some of the issue is why Highway 44 by St. Theresa floods easily, because the culverts are open but don’t have a flap, which would keep the water from backing up.

“We need to address this immediately,” Vessel said. “We can’t continue to wait on the parish or whoever, we need to get somebody out there and get this stuff done. We’ve been ‘looking’ into it since March.”

Councilman Terance Irvin said the first thing that needs to be done is cleaning, then “we can start working on the other ideas.”

“Cleaning has to be done immediately because we don’t know when the next shower is going to be guys,” Irvin said.

Councilman Kenny Matassa asked that Roux, Broussard, and the City Engineer appear at the next council meeting for an update.

Vessel said, “We can’t move the city forward if we can’t get stuff like this done, especially when it’s already been brought to our attention.”