Louisiana DOTD Says Some Roadway Flooding is By Design
Motorists in Lafayette see it when it happens on Ambassador Caffery Parkway. Yesterday, motorists who use US 190 near Eunice experienced it first hand. What is the "it" we are referencing? It's street flooding. And yes, it's by design.
I don't think there has been a day in the month of July when we haven't seen raindrops on the patio at my house in Lafayette. Some days, we see a lot of raindrops. Yesterday was one of those days. However, the amount of rain at my house was nothing in comparison to the rain that fell in St. Landry Parish.
That video was submitted to us by a listener who was driving on US 190 just outside of Eunice between 7 am and 8 am. That particular part of the state had just been inundated by several inches of rainfall that unfortunately fell in a very short period of time.
When that happens, an exorbitant amount of rain in a short period, some of our roadways pivot in their job performance. In other words, they go from being avenues of transportation for cars and trucks to basically catch basins for extreme amounts of water.
The above graphic shows just how much rain fell over parts of South Louisiana yesterday. If you look just north of I-10 in Acadia Parish, you can see those isolated pockets of very heavy rain that caused most of the chaos yesterday.
Officials with Louisiana's Department of Transportation and Development say that the "catch basin" effect is by design. While it may seem like a huge pain in the butt for motorists, the design can be a blessing for home and business owners. You see when the water is captured in the roadway, it's not flowing into someone's home or shop. That's a good thing.
DOTD says other "catch basin" areas around Lafayette include Ambassador Caffery Parkway. Another "catch basin" design is on LA 31 in Breaux Bridge and if you were wondering, yes US 190 near Eunice is designed that way as well.
The catch basin effect only happens during periods of very heavy rainfall over a short period of time. That is exactly what we experienced yesterday in some parts of the state. When you also factor in that most of the area's ditches, coulees, streams, bayous, and rivers are pretty full, to begin with, I'd say the system worked pretty well.
I would much rather have to avoid a roadway for a few hours versus clean up flood damage from my house.
Now let's take a look at some roads that aren't covered with water. They make for a much better driving experience anyway.
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