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City of Pineville talks Hurricane Delta response, residents react

Huffman Street residents share flood experience
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 6:36 PM CDT
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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - The City of Pineville has not fully recovered from Hurricane Laura when it took on a second blow from Hurricane Delta. The natural disaster brought significant flooding to Pineville. Mayor Clarence Fields said because of the back-to-back devastation they decided to declare a state of emergency to allocate funds for recovery efforts.

Some expenses included employee overtime, equipment, or other needs. There’s a resolution to partner with the Rapides Parish Police Jury on storm recovery to help pick-up debris in hard-to-reach areas. Removing debris in those places will help with drainage.

“Unfortunately the thing that you can’t plan for is 14-15 inches of rain and there’s just no plans and no drains. We were a bit overwhelmed I have to say so myself. It’s not a normal 100-year flood initiative...that creates all kinds of other problems,” Mayor Fields said. “You don’t control it, and you’re frustrated because in some cases where you want to help people you can’t help people, or you don’t have the ability to help people, but we will do everything that we possibly can. But it’s very frustrating. Government hands are tied sometimes unfortunately and that’s always frustrating. But we’re going to do everything we possibly can for our citizens.”

Some residents on Huffman Street had to be evacuated as flood water entered their homes. This was the first time resident Lincoln Williams experienced flooding at his home in Pineville. “I’m just mad. I’m super mad,” Williams said. “I’m mad one thing because they said we didn’t get hit that bad. Because the one that said it they should’ve been in it. They just lucky people, we weren’t lucky.”

His other neighbor John Blade showed how his television and chairs were turned over by the floodwater. “Look here look at all that stuff on the side there. See where that water got up that high. I could’ve been swimming. I could’ve got down and swum there,” Blade explained.

James and Debbie Knapp live on Huffman Street, right before the drainage ditch. They had marks to show the previous years of flooding.

“You could see how high,” James Knapp explained. “It’s just sickening. The City of Pineville needs to do something about the drainage here big time. And like I said, I’ve been living here ten years and they said the pumps are automatic...no.”

Adam Rainwater, another resident shared his thoughts about experiencing flooding. “Don’t let it get you down just pick yourself up and go on with your life. You know there’s nothing you can do about a disaster. It’s just nature," Rainwater said. “That’s just mother nature tearing the place up.”

Debbie Knapp said seeing the flooding was an unbelievable sight. “It is what it is and we’re just doing the best we can to recover from it,” She said. “It’ll take some time, but we’ll we’ll get there.”

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