In flood-prone Lake Charles neighborhood, residents consider whether it’s time to leave

14 Jun 2021

Flood Mitigation, Latest News

LAKE CHARLES — Diadra Carmen steels herself before she opens the door, telling herself not to be afraid. Tears roll down her cheeks when she begins to step inside.

Her house is dim and gutted. Water marks roughly knee-high are visible on the outside walls. Containers of personal belongings in the laundry room are still soaked, including one holding ceramic angels given to her by her mother, wrapped in disposable diapers to keep them from breaking.

“I’m mentally and emotionally drained,” said the 64-year-old, who has lived in the Greinwich Terrace neighborhood of storm-battered Lake Charles since 1978 and has endured repeated flooding in recent years. “I’m ready to go, whether they buy it or not.”

Like others in the neighborhood, Carmen may soon be eligible for a voluntary buyout of her house. Despite her long ties to the area and affection for the place where she raised her three children, she’s become exasperated and would be ready to take the money and leave.

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