PEARL RIVER, Miss. - On September 1, 2012, a disturbing discovery sent dozens of families packing in a hurry along the Pearl River Navigational Canal.
Rain and surge water caused by Hurricane Isaac had poured over and around Lock #2, scouring the edges and putting the structure's integrity into question.
Janice O'Berry was the first to make the find.
"It took us a while to figure out what was going on, but once it clicked we couldn't get down the canal fast enough," she said.
More than a year later, the damage has finally been fixed.
"The work that was being done there was to back-fill some erosion damages on the east bank along the lock chamber," said Greg Raimondo, chief of Public Affairs at the Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District. "They installed some concrete to ditch-drain along there and turfed it up so all the repairs would hold in place."
The Army Corps of Engineers has also readjusted the valves on Lock #2 to prevent any future overtopping like what happened here during Isaac.
"We have real-time monitoring of the water in the canal and the water in the lock chamber and we don't expect to have a situation like that ever again," said Raimondo.
Seeing the repairs is a sigh of relief for parish leaders.
“I am not as concerned that the same thing will happen again, but it will always be on our list to make sure we're checking it," St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister said.
For residents, this is a chance to shine light on other neglected areas of the place they cherish.
“There's other issues in it and it's something that's just been put on the backburner for too long," O’Berry said.
It's a goal they're taking one step at a time toward.
The project cost the Army Corps of Engineers more than $160,000. The repair work was completed Nov. 26, but was originally scheduled to be completed on January 8, 2014.