Eden Isle residents upset over abandoned Katrina boats - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Eden Isle residents upset over abandoned Katrina boats


ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Eight and a half years after Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath of the storm still haunts one St. Tammany Parish neighborhood. Residents in Eden Isles say they're fed up and want someone to clean up what the storm left behind.

Pat Fitzpatrick is sick of looking out over the water behind his Eden Isles home and seeing boats abandoned by their owners after Hurricane Katrina. He says of the boats, "They are on the fringe of private property and then there's questions of who is responsible for ultimately removing the boats."

Fitzpatrick estimates there are 10 to 12 abandoned boats in Eden Isles. He and his neighbors on Lakeview Drive reached out to St. Tammany Parish to see if they could take care of the problem. "The general consensus is that it seems to be a Coast Guard issue but they weren't totally sure about that so we're just trying to debate how to move forward and clean up the rest of the debris," said Fitzpatrick.

While abandoned boats are the primary concern on the canal side of Lakeview Drive, residents living on the Lake Pontchartrain side say they're worried about boaters safety. Vicki Thiel explains, "There's a problem with the pilings because if a boat comes close to shore, they're gonna tear up their boat with the pilings that are under the water. Most of the old pilings are cut off and you can't see them unless the water is low."

Thiel says she's especially worried for her grand kids who like to ride jet skis in the lake. She says it saddens her to see the shape of her neighborhood eight and a half years after Katrina. "Most people dump their stuff in the vacant lots and it's very sad." Said Thiel.

Fitzpatrick admits residents have been slow to return. He's hoping if he can get help to remove the boats, old pilings, and destroyed piers, life could return to what it once was....before the storm that destroyed so much of the place he loves.

He says he's also reached out to some of his local legislators looking for help but there seems to be a lot of confusion over who should be responsible for cleaning up the area.

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