Acres of trees being cut down in St. Tammy for drainage project

Acres of trees being cut down in St. Tammy for drainage project
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POSTED: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 6:30am

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 6:34am

When work crews began clearing tress along Harrison Avenue in St. Tammany Parish, it was good news to some and upsetting to others.

Ada Berrios and her family live across the street from what was a forest. However, the trees in a several-block area have been taken down to clear the way for the 7-acre Abita River sub-basin detention pond along Harrison Avenue.

“It was more private, and we can walk. They had a lot of people walking their dogs, and now it's more like we can't even do that,” Berrios said.

The more than $700,000 project is part of a parishwide effort to control drainage. The detention pond is one of several being strategically located in St. Tammany Parish and will directly benefit 300 structures.

Appropriate sites can be hard to find. In this case, to protect residents from the flooding caused by heavy rains, the trees had to come down.

Gina Campo, the director of federal programs, said that once the detention pond is created, a number of trees will be replaced.

“We do get sometimes criticism for what we are doing, but what people have to understand is, and what we try to convey is, that we are doing this for a good reason, that we are going to try and benefit them,” Campo said.

The entire project, including land acquisition, runs about $1.5 million. It is expected to be completed by early summer.

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