The City of Youngsville was hit hard by the August History Flood. Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter says about 600 homes were impacted by the floodwaters. Mayor Ritter explains the city has raised its development standards and started tackling the city’s basic drainage maintenance needs.
In the Highland Ridge Subdivision, it’s move-in time for Adam Cagle and his family. “Living at the parents’ house with a six-year-old and finance and working offshore; it’s not easy,” says Cagle.
Cagle explains he built his home four years ago. “I never thought I would have to move out and rebuild it again four years later,” adds Cagle.
South of Chemin Metairie Road sits one of Youngsville’s major drains. In fact, Youngsville’s Director of Public Works Terry Bourque says the goal for Youngsville is to employ an active drainage program. “The 13, 14, 20-inch rains that’s hard to combat. A normal five-inch rain; I think we’re going to be alright,” says Bourque.
Bourque says before roadside ditches are cleaned — the channels that carry the water have to be cleared. He notes that otherwise there will be blockage and water sitting at a standstill. “You can’t dig backwards and dig in the subdivision first because you are digging to nothing. There’s still a choke point. So now once we dug this, we can go interior along the roadside in front of houses that need to be dug and actually dig and provide better drainage,” adds Bourque.
Mayor Ken Ritter explains that the wait is over. The mayor says residents want to see something done quicker. “We’re getting in and tackling some of the drainage issues that we expected the parish to do. We’re are doing ourselves,” says Ritter.
The mayor says extra staff has been hired and equipment rented to help with the drainage efforts. “We’re not going to let staffing or equipment get in the way of doing the job that needs to be done.”
Youngsville Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux is both a city servant and a homeowner. The chief’s home flooded on that August day. Chief Boudreaux describes his community as a city of resilient people — able to bounce back. “Like i said during the storm neighbors became family. We began helping each other, tearing out and rebuild, picking-up and do what we could,” says Boudreaux.
In the Highland Ridge Subdivision it’s calculated some 310 homes flooded. The chief says more than half of the residents have returned. “They are starting to get back to their normal lives they’re starting to get back into their homes they are happy to get back into their homes. It’s not the way it was; but they are getting there. They are working at it,” says chief Boudreaux.
“We got to continue to speak with one voice to make sure any recovery dollars that come into the state that Youngsville is represented right and that we stand the chance to perhaps get some of those dollars in Acadiana,” says Ritter.
“You just got to rebuild and keep moving forward,” adds Cagle.