Detention basin will ease flooding near Louisiana Avenue and Contraband Bayou

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:43 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Calcasieu Parish Police Jury broke ground on the Louisiana Avenue Detention Basin project that aims to bring flood relief to some Lake Charles residents in an effort to stop a near by neighborhood from flooding.

Detention Basin Groundbreaking
Detention Basin Groundbreaking(Calcasieu Parish Police Jury)

With the heavy rain fall like we’ve seen in the past, residents living near Contraband Bayou off of Louisiana Avenue were seeing flooding that caused damage to their homes.

“We lost everything. Who would have ever thought that we would have got that much water on Cherryhill Street,” resident Fayetta Victor-Pass said.

Victor-Pass and another resident Helen Curol said the May 17th Flood of last year further exposed drainage issues in their neighborhood.

“I had to get out of here in an air boat. She had to walk to McNeese with her husband to get out in an air boat so our neighbors are very excited about this,” Curol said.

Now these residents can breath a sigh of relief welcoming the basin to the area.

“Long time coming, a long time coming and I thank the lord for it,” Victor-Pass said.

The basin will detain excess water during a heavy rail fall. Then once the bayou recedes, the water in the basin will slowly fill back into the bayou.

“This basin we have is just another tool we have to lower the impact of flooding,” Calcasieu Parish assistant administrator Dane Bolin said.

Louisiana Avenue Detention Basin rendering
Louisiana Avenue Detention Basin rendering(Calcasieu Parish Police Jury)

The pond itself is set on 17 acres off of Louisiana Avenue alongside the Contraband Bayou. It’s 13 ft. deep, but will have 3 ft. of water in it as its permanent pool level, leaving about 10 ft. that can serve as detention.

“For the mathematicians and other engineers, that’s about 6 million cubic feet of water that will be able to be stored here, and if you’re like me, and you’d rather gallons of milk, that’s about 48 million gallons of milk,” director of public works Allen Wainwright said.

Wainwright explained the basin works to lower the water surface level during a flood.

“We hear from so many people who it’s right at their door step and that next inch or two is what’s critical for them,” Wainwright said.

The basin will also service the area in another way as a community park with a walking path.

“I know we’re looking forward to it and just to know that they’ll be starting this week with it is just amazing, amazing,” Victor-Pass said.

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury said the $5.76 million project is expected to be completed in March of 2024.