Community Member

Lafayette Parish Flood Forum

Lafayette, Louisiana

Representing residents impacted by flooding, Lafayette Parish Flood Forum in Lafayette, LA is dedicated to increasing awareness and advocating for solutions. In August 2016, the residents of Lafayette were caught in an unprecedented storm that had no name but refused to move. It remained stationary over the Baton Rouge/Lafayette area for two days, dumping 2-3 inches of rain per hour. By the end, the area had been hit with an average of 21-24 inches of rainfall, with some areas receiving over 30 inches. The Vermilion River crested at 17.62 feet, the second-highest level in its recorded history. The damage was devastating and the cost was estimated between $10 billion and $15 billion. 150,000 homes were damaged in Louisiana from those two days of rain and 10,000 people had to escape to shelters. The Lafayette Parish Flood Forum grew out of the need for the community to come together when disasters strike. 

Acadiana Flooding Message Board, an 11,000-member Facebook group, is now addressing that need with posts about flood alerts, requests for help, offers of support, links to helpful groups and agencies, and opportunities to improve FEMA. The need will continue because Lafayette will continue to flood; recent intense rain events and flooding, despite millions of dollars spent to improve drainage, point to that conclusion. More homes will be built, sending more runoff into drainage areas. Louisiana will get harder and longer rains as Gulf and ocean temperatures increase, resulting in weather events like the atmospheric rivers on the West Coast. But precautions can ameliorate flooding, especially of houses so people can stay in their homes. Among other things, Lafayette Parish now requires developers to decrease runoff when they build and has built more detention ponds. FEMA can help homeowners elevate their houses. And the Message Board can keep informing about changes and opportunities.

For more information:

Tropical Storm Barry: See road closures in Lafayette, nearby Louisiana parishes – Daily Advertiser, July 2019

Overnight downpour floods streets and homes in Lafayette areas spared in 2016 – The Current, June 2019

20 inches of rain falls, hundreds rescued – The Advertiser, August 2016

Flooding in the South Looks a Lot Like Climate Change – The New York Times, August 2016

August 2016 extreme rain and floods along the Gulf Coast –, August 2016

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


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