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Robert residents hope to see improvements in flood zones near the Tangipahoa River

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - High water on the Tangipahoa river is causing problems for a campground near Robert.

Many residents living in flood zones would like to see something done, but there are obstacles.

The Tangipahoa River is designated one of Louisiana’s scenic rivers but all too often it takes over Hidden Oaks Campground near Robert.

“Since the beginning of the year, this is six or seven times we’ve flooded since January,” said campground owner Scott Poston.

Each time that happens, it covers acres of Hidden Oaks Campground, including campsites that can become inaccessible.

The campground has several permanent campers, and the river’s most recent flood claimed a luxury RV as its latest victim.

“Everything was floating. Their electrical system got damaged so it will probably be totaled,” said co-owner Arlene Poston.

The campground owners have had to shut down again on what has been a busy weekend. They say problems with local river gauges make the flooding difficult to predict.

Campground owners say the river often gets clogged with fallen trees impeding the flow. They would like to see it dredged and cleared but that may be prohibited because of restrictions under the state’s scenic rivers program.

“There are prohibited activities on scenic rivers. Clearing and snagging is one of those,” said Kyle Balkum with the La Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries.

There have not been any medical emergencies among the people who live and camp here but there have been some close calls.

The parish is now running models on the Tangipahoa River to look at ways to improve drainage, and even though removing snags is prohibited, there are options.

“What our department can do is permit isolated removal of snags and sediment buildup,” said Balkum.

In spite of repeated floods, the owners say there’s no place they’d rather be.

Without business interruption insurance, they just wish they had a little help to make the flooding less frequent.

There are 61 waterways in Louisiana’s scenic river program.

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