Residents talk with Jefferson County DD7 about alleged problems with drainage during Harvey

Jefferson County DD7 and other groups answered questions from Port Arthur residents about alleged drainage issues during Harvey

PORT ARTHUR - Port Arthur residents got the chance to have a conversation with Jefferson County Drainage District 7 at a town hall event on Thursday night.

Several residents were upset after Tropical Storm Harvey brought record rainfall to Jefferson County.

Ricky Espree believes DD7 should separate Mid-County drainage waters from the City of Port Arthur.

"It seemed like they are moving in the right direction, to try and find the right ways to mitigate solutions to make things better than what they were before," Espree said.

DD7, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Port Arthur City Council members were present at Thursday’s meeting at St. John Baptist Church in Port Arthur.

DD7 general manager Phil Kelley wanted to emphasize that the pumps could not push out the rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey.

"Bottom line is we received more rain than what we were designed to handle. And one message we really wanted to convey is that, yes, there's been talk about doing studies, those opportunities are going to come," Kelley said.

Espree hopes that the community leaders can find ways to improve the drainage system.

"My heart goes out to the citizens of Port Arthur, I'm here working as a concerned citizen because I've never seen anything like this in my life," Espree said.

Kelley says that DD7 conducted a $2 million study of their drainage system in 2000. He estimates a similar study could cost $4 million or more.

 

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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