Woman says Uptown drainage project badly damaged her home

Wynton Yates talks to Uptown residents who said the SELA project damaged their home.

NEW ORLEANS - A homeowner says that living near the massive Uptown construction project on Napoleon Avenue has caused major damage to her home.

Virginia Saussy said that a room in her home has dropped dramatically from its previous position and that her roof has split open several times. She blames the $55 million southeast Louisiana Drainage Project.

The project's goal is to protect the city against future flooding, but Saussy said the progress is costing her dearly.

"My foundation is off, I've got cracked plaster walls, chunks of ceiling falling down, floors cracking open, two areas where my yard is caving in and it's taking pieces of my home with it," said Saussy.

Just before Mardi Gras, Saussy and her attorney put out signs all across their uptown neighborhood. The signs say: The Drainage project ruined my home AND ruined my Mardi Gras….

Saussy explained "We're thrilled the neutral ground is completed. We're delighted to have this back, but our quality of life has been gone for three years and now our homes are severely damaged.”

While the signs are eye catching and bringing attention to the plight that some of these home owners say they are going through, some in the area are asking why now?"

Melany Kostrziwa was happy to finally be able to use the neutral ground this Mardi Gras.  

Kostrziwa  said "I was thinking it was about time for some campaign for people to kind of unite and make a statement, but it's kind of hard now because you look behind you and its done.”

Before the construction began, the damage was anticipated by the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board, who set up a claims website and hotline for home owners. In a Statement the water board said:

"This claims process has worked well with this and other SELA projects where claims were resolved without the need for costly litigation."

Even though the road is freshly paved and new sod put down, the signs say there is still more work to be done.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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