Due to constant rain since Saturday, some areas of Lafayette are seeing street flooding and rising water in coulees. Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) Director of Public Works Tom Carroll confirms residents have reported full channels and street flooding, but no calls have been received with reports of home flooding.

Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux expressed his concern for flooding and acknowledged the need to find long-term solutions.

“Events as catastrophic as the August flooding highlight areas where government can improve. Going forward we need to look at policies, procedures and how our limited resources are allocated. I will work with the Council and elected officials throughout Lafayette Parish to consider all potential solutions. It’s time to have some tough discussions to address properly funding parish-wide drainage.”

Carroll said LCG is responsible for the maintenance of more than 900 miles of channels, regularly cleaning and herbiciding them to ensure proper flow.

“With the amount of rain we have seen in the last 48 hours, it is not unusual to see some street flooding, but we have not seen, nor do we expect to see, any sustained roadway flooding.”

Carroll confirmed all of the drainage crews are currently out inspecting coulees, coulee crossings, culverts and catch basins to ensure there are no obstructions which would create any backups. The crews will also re-assess the channels after the waters recede. Residents within the City of Lafayette or unincorporated areas of the parish may report specific flooding issues by contacting Public Works Dispatch at 337-291-8517.

At 9:15 a.m. the National Weather Service in Lake Charles reported the Vermilion River measured at 10.0 feet, which is considered flood stage, and is forecast to crest near 12.0 feet by this evening. The river is expected to fall below flood stage late Thursday morning.

Residents wishing to sandbag their property may access sandbags at one of two locations: North District sandbagging is at the compost facility, located at 400 N. Dugas Road (located off North University Ave.) and South District sandbags will be available at 1017 Fortune Road in Youngsville. Sandbags will be available in Lafayette Parish during daytime hours at the two separate locations.

The two sites are "self-bagging," meaning the bags and sand are provided to Lafayette Parish residents free, at no charge, but residents will need to supply their own manpower and shovel. Residents are asked to limit their sandbags to four bags per exterior door, with a maximum of 20 sandbags per household.

With more rain activity expected during the afternoon hours, citizens are encouraged to stay alert and pay attention to their surroundings and are cautioned to heed signs or barricades which indicate flooding ahead. If pedestrians or drivers find themselves upon a flooded area, they should turn around and take an alternate route. If motorists mistakenly drive into a flooded area and the vehicle stalls, they should immediately abandon it through an open door or window and head for higher ground. Trapped motorists should call 911 or get the attention of passersby to call for help.