FOX 8 Defenders: Plaquemines Parish crews fill two longtime nuisance pools

FOX 8 Defenders: Plaquemines Parish crews fill two longtime nuisance pools
The FOX 8 Defenders first showed in February, seven dark, stagnant swimming pools that from the air stood out in the Braithwaite Park subdivision on the East bank of Plaquemines Parish. We found the hidden dangers in the backyards of homes that in many cases have been vacant since Hurricane Isaac in 2012.

BRAITHWAITE, La. (WVUE) - Concerned about health and safety, Dorothy McGuire has been worried about nuisance swimming pools in her Braithwaite Park subdivision for years.

“For one thing the kids, another thing the mosquitoes,” she said.

Many of the pools she’s worried about have remained dark and stagnant since Hurricane Isaac devastated the area in 2012.

“I thought they were gonna fill them in or have them at least drained,” McGuire said.

Then finally, it actually happened. Just this week, Plaquemines Parish crews took action to clean up two of the nuisance pools. FOX 8 found crews draining a pool at 110 West Park in Braithwaite, using several loads of sand to eventually fill the pool.

Just around the corner, at 433 Palm Drive, it was a similar scene.

Plaquemines Parish employees had already drained that pool when FOX 8 got to the location. Public records showed the pool at that home had been stagnant since Hurricane Katrina, nearly 14 years ago.

Braithwaite Park homeowner Jill Baumy told FOX 8 in April, projects like this are important to the revival of the community.

“I feel for the community to come back, things have to be taken care of,” Baumy said.

Baumy said she is relieved to see progress in her neighborhood. After a series of FOX 8 Defenders reports that exposed seven nuisance pools earlier this year in February, property owners abated three of them.

One pool at 411 Palm Drive was filled with sand. The owner at 418 Palm Drive covered his pool with a heavy metal material and a third pool at 109 West Park was drained and cleaned.

Those who didn't clean up were notified to attend abatement hearings last month, including the owners of 416 Palm Drive and 407 Palm Drive.

“You understand the main concern is that the pool is a danger to children if they can enter that gate?” Parish Attorney Rennie Buras asked at an abatement hearing on the issue June 5th.

There, two homeowners were given timelines to bring their pools into compliance.

“I think we’ve accomplished some things in this short period of time but again, we’re not happy till the job’s done and we will keep working diligently until the job’s done,” Plaquemines Parish President Kirk Lepine told FOX 8 in April.

Five months after our reports in February began, five of the seven nuisance pools we’ve investigated are no longer dangerous and unsanitary.

The parish said it will place liens on the two properties where crews had to drain and fill pools in order to cover the costs to do that work. The parish estimates it costs about $3,500 to abate each pool.

If you’ve got a consumer issue you want us to address, call the FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women, the NCJW or, fill out our online complaint form.

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