Drainage issues continue to plague Mid-City businesses & residents

Drainage issues continue to plague Mid-City businesses & residents

Drainage issues continue to plague Mid-City businesses & residents

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 28 at 10:06 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS - Drainage issues in a Mid-City neighborhood continue to cause a headache for nearby businesses and residents.

Some blame the new Mid-City Market development for increased flooding.

"You can tell that we've been mopping all day, you can tell the water marks on the doors," said Julie Ricca of Ricca's Architectural Sales pointing out water damage.

Every time it rains the family-run business says it has to battle inches of water collecting outside its door near the intersection of St. Louis and N. Solomon Streets.

"Its basically the River St. Louis we have to deal with each time and people not knowing where the big pot holes are with the giant puddles, lack of drainage," said Julie Ricca.

The business says pot holes and a not very efficient street drainage system have been problems for years.

Roland Ricca says his grandfather used to spend his own money patching the city road which remains unpaved and a headache to neighbors.

"It’s to the point now that we've invested so much money building the city street, that we quit. It's not our responsibility to fix the streets, that's why we pay our taxes," said Roland Ricca.

But, you can't fight the rain. Water continues to seep into the Mid-City warehouse damaging historic merchandise. Ricca's says it’s losing thousands of dollars.

"It’s gotten to a point now where I'm sanding doors that I sanded twice from the previous floods. So it’s holding me up," said Roland Ricca of orders that have fallen months behind.

The business has resorted to using pumps and sandbags to try to keep the water out to save their merchandise. It says the Mid-City Market development next door isn't helping the problem.

"The water flow from the rear parking lot of the Mid-City Market flows directly into my rear building and it’s quite a shame," said Julie Ricca.

The 57-year-old business says it’s tried contacting the project's developer, Stirling Properties, and the city with no real response.

"We will investigate what we can do to address the drainage issues," said New Orleans Public Works Director Mark Jernigan.

The City confirms the flooding and street concerns were brought up at a recent Lafitte Greenway project community meeting. Next week the City says it will tackle the issue.

"The drainage system that the Public Works Department maintains in the public right of way, we're going to take a look and see what the condition of that system is. We will take a look and see what on the private property side is contributing to the runoff," said Jernigan.

For those trying to stay afloat every time it rains, they have this plea to the City.

"I'd like them to recognize the people who've been here for years and years and years, and the residents, and get the drainage and sidewalks that we need," said Julie Rice.

Eyewitness News reached out to Stirling Properties about the drainage issues near Mid-City Market.

Asset Manager Eugene Schmitt says Stirling put in a new drain in the public right-of-away. Schmitt adds the project is self-draining.

Stirling Properties says it plans on investigating the issue further.

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