Coulee Conundrum – It’s Time We Talked About Drainage
This past Friday afternoon a "pop up" thunderstorm inundated parts of the city of New Orleans with flood water. To bring that closer to home a similar kind of "pop up" storm in Lafayette can turn Ambassador Caffery Parkway into a river and bring water to the doorsteps of many homes.
To me, instances like that beg a question like this. Why haven't we figured out the drainage thing yet? By "we" I mean Lafayette Consolidated Government.
The picture you see above is taken from Candlelight Drive in Lafayette. As you can see there is a very well constructed coulee. Or is it well constructed and poorly designed? I am no civil engineer so there is probably a lot about drainage design I don't understand. Still, I'd like to pose my questions.
1. Why are the sides of the coulee higher than the surrounding ground? Doesn't the concrete wall create a dam causing water to back up during a deluge?
2. Why is there so much plant material in this coulee? Shouldn't these drainage systems be periodically cleaned and cleared of debris?
3. Why is there so much standing water in this coulee? Are trying to grow mosquitoes?
4. Speaking of standing water, it hasn't rained in our part of town for over a week. Shouldn't the coulee be basically dry?
During August of 2016 many of the homes in this neighborhood took on water. In my house which is just a few blocks away from this coulee had water come right up to our doorstep. I have also seen the water come within ten feet of my front door after an afternoon thunderstorm. To me, that indicates the drainage system in my neighborhood isn't functioning the way I believe it should.