False River Residents Say Drawdown Has Affected Properties

NEW ROADS, LA (AP) — Some residents living along False River say they believe a three-foot water drawdown that was intended to help restore the oxbow lake is damaging their properties.

         The Advocate’s Terry L. Jones reports that a coalition of landowners living along the lake's 22-mile-long shoreline wants officials to address concerns about the drawdown's effects on man-made erosion barriers and the foundations of lakefront properties.

         The False River Civic Association sent a letter to the Pointe Coupee Police Jury asking for a meeting on Jan. 28.

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         The 3-foot drawdown began in September. The state authorized the parish to lower the lake's water level temporarily as part of an effort to promote vegetation growth and lessen silt buildup that affects fish habitats.

         The association has asked state Rep. Major Thibaut, D-New Roads; Stephen Chustz, assistant secretary of the state's Department of Natural Resources' Office of Coastal Management, and other officials connected to False River's restoration efforts to attend the Jan. 28 meeting.

         Patricia Schnur, the association's president, said FRCA members and non-members approached her about setting up the meeting with officials because they believe the drawdown that took the lake's water level from 16.5 feet to approximately 13.5 feet until March 1 could be the cause of the problems they've been experiencing.

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         State and local officials say they aren't convinced lowering the lake's water level is the source of the problems but are committed to investigating the issues on a case-by-case basis.

         "Everyone is different," Chustz said. "At some areas of the lake there is still water up against the shoreline while in other areas there's 20-feet of land where there used to be water. The project engineer has been made aware of the problems and he's going to investigate things. Anything is possible."

         For more information

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