News & Media

CPPJ and GO Group to Host Series of Public Open Houses Focused on Reducing Flooding in Calcasieu Parish

December 28, 2015

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury (CPPJ) and Southwest Louisiana Task Force for Growth and Opportunity (GO Group) are moving forward with a multipronged effort to address the Parish’s growing flooding problems, officials announced Monday. As part of this planning process, the Parish and GO Group will host a series of parish-wide public open houses in January to provide residents and businesses with an update on the Parish’s planning efforts and to gather feedback on potential solutions to combat the flooding crisis with more effective drainage policies and ordinances. “The unfortunate reality here in Calcasieu Parish is that, as our area continues to grow and thrive with exciting new developments and an economy outpacing that of every other area in Louisiana, that same urbanization has escalated an already serious flooding situation,” says Bryan Beam, CPPJ Parish Administrator.

Earlier in 2015, the Police Jury adopted a mission, guiding principles, and policy and operational objectives to guide this planning effort. Today, Parish officials are focused on applying this mission and set of guiding principles to develop policies that will help to mitigate the impact of urbanization and how it contributes to the water runoff conditions that cause flooding. “We believe we have identified and are working toward a set of solutions that, as a starting point, will help to address the root cause of flooding and put in place a framework that gets us much closer to where we need to be,” says Allen Wainwright, CPPJ Department of Public Works director. “However, while these solutions are rooted in the best available science and engineering, we know they won’t be nearly as effective or work the way we need them to if they aren’t informed by the input, feedback and perspectives of those who are impacted by this issue on a regular basis.” Each of the public open houses will include a presentation and updates from local officials about the status of recent planning efforts and solutions under consideration to establish a new framework for drainage-related development standards. Representatives from the Police Jury and Parish staff will be available to receive feedback from attendees about the severity of flooding problems experienced by area residents and how these proposed solutions might best be initiated to address the impact of recurring instances of flooding.

All residents, business owners, and interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend one of the open houses, which will be held at the following dates, times, and locations:
 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Lake Charles Civic Center
Contraband Room
900 Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70601
 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
West Cal Events Center
Calcasieu Exhibit Hall
401 Arena Road
Sulphur, LA 70665
 

Thursday, January 14, 2016
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Moss Bluff Middle School
Cafeteria
297 Park Road
Moss Bluff, LA 70611 

“In the more than 10 years that have passed since we last made substantive changes to our Parish’s drainage policies, economic growth in our region has accelerated at a rate that outpaces most other urban areas across the nation. This growth is great for our community, but it requires us to be smart about proactively shaping it,” says Karen Clapp, GO Group Director. “The SWLA Regional Impact Study released in November 2014 was clear in how quality-of-life in our area will decrease if we fail to take action now. While that relates to a number of issues our community is currently working to solve, flooding is one of the most urgent we have to be proactive about addressing,” says GO Group Public Service Improvements Task Force Chairman Mary Kaye Eason. “We must work together, armed with realistic solutions rooted in sound science and engineering principles, to create a lasting, generational effect that results in positive outcomes for years to come.” 

For more information, please visit cppj.net/drainage – or, to submit correspondence regarding this effort, please visit cppj.citizenreach.com. Comments may also be submitted to the CPPJ Drainage Design Planning Team, 1011 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 614, Lake Charles, LA 70601.

You may contact the Parish Administrator’s office at (337) 721-3500 with any questions.
For media inquiries contact Tom Hoefer at (337) 721-3574.