SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) – A portion of the River Gardens subdivision in unincorporated Slidell remains under water Wednesday as the Pearl River crested at 17 feet.
Some who live along Magnolia Drive park their cars a street over on Cypress Drive and walk a privately owned road before taking a makeshift road to get home.
They’re technically trespassing each time they use the road that meets Cypress Drive.
“I’ve told them that I would give up a piece of my property if they would do eminent domain or buy the property behind mine to make us a road, so that we can get emergency vehicles, so that we can get to our homes when we need to have groceries instead of parking on Cypress Street,” Brandie Spain, who used part of her property to make a makeshift road for transport, said.
Others don’t have the option of walking to and from home.
“We have older people on this street that are on oxygen that can’t get out,” Spain said.
Neighbors say the water is stuck in their neighborhood and that they need parish and state officials to act.
“We need them to dredge the Gum Bayou. They need to take care of what they’re supposed to take care of, the ditches, the river,” Spain said. “Dig our ditches deeper. I mean, we know where the road is. We didn’t need the stakes to tell us where it was.”
The public information officer for the St. Tammany Parish, Michael Vinsanau, says there are no plans to dredge the Pearl River at this time.
“The Army Corps of Engineers looked at it. We continue to look at these things and try to see if there are some things that can be done, but at this time, we don’t know if any immediate things that can be implemented, especially trying to find the funding for something like this,” Vinsanau said.
Neighbors also say the culverts along the Gum Bayou are clogged and believe a private road along Military Road acts like a levee, but, according to Vinsanau, the parish’s public works department assessed the bayou in the spring.
“We’re not aware of any blockages at this time,” Vinsanau said. “Now, that’s not to say they’re not there. We hope that our citizens will report to us if they see something there, and we’ll come out there and address it immediately.”
The parish spokesman is reminding people they can file a work order through the parish’s website. He also said first responders are ready to assist in case of an emergency in the area.