Nearly 60 years since Comite River's last cleaning, some residents feeling anxious
The Comite River has a great deal of debris in its waterways, leaving those who live near it concerned about the next heavy rain.
As part of the Amite River Basin, the Comite is just one waterway that makes up the watershed. Residents who live near it say they live with the fear of another flood every day, and with an indefinite delay on the Comite Diversion Canal, frustration about flood protection efforts continues to grow.
Bob Burns is just one resident in Central who questions why the Comite River has not been cleaned for 58 years.
“I've lived in my house for 45 years. It's hard to describe what it feels like to gut your house to the beams, to rip everything out, put everything out on the street like a pile of trash… and rebuild your house, the whole time you’re rebuilding it, you know, you may have to do it again because no one is making an effort to improve the drainage.”
This concern became more prevalent after the 2016 flood. A city-parish spokesperson tells us since then, the parish has received amplified calls, many regarding the trauma residents have faced from flooding.
They also say work is currently underway to get parts of the basin cleaned and snagged. Those parts include the eastern border of the Comite, the southern region of Bayou Manchac, and the western part of the Mississippi. The city-parish has been scanning the banks with drones to see where heavily-clogged areas are.
With most of the data collected, the city-parish says the next step is getting approval from the Corps of Army Engineers. Currently, there’s no clear indication of when that will be.