Ponchatoula councilwoman takes issue of drainage into her own hands

Ponchatoula councilwoman takes on drainage

PONCHATOULA, La. (WVUE) - When the ditches were flooded with water this week due to heavy rain, one Ponchatoula councilwoman decided to take matters into her own hands when it came to improving drainage in her district.

“Rather than having to call our city workers out to do this my husband and I invented a new tool,” said District A Councilwoman Melissa Gueldner. “I’ve actually been surprised by the response! Everyone in town is talking about it and telling me to get a patent on it.”

Guelder said that as the water began to rise above the culvert in front of her house she and her husband decided to take action before further problems arose. They created what is basically an extended arm made out of PVC pipe, a garden hoe, and a rake, she said.

“We made our first prototype 18 feet long and it still wasn’t long enough to get the leaves out of the culvert,” she said. “We came back with one 22 feet long and when we got it in there we pulled out all kinds of trash and leaves that had been lodged in there.”

Gueldner said she’s working on a third prototype that will be jointed so it can easily be folded, packed away, and transported.

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“I’m considering making a jointed one and giving it to our city workers so they can easily pack it up and store it in the back of their trucks,” she said.

When asked if she had any advice for others in the Greater New Orleans area dealing with similar issues she said, ”Necessity is the mother of all invention.”

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