Livingston Parish business flooded, destroyed after mistake from construction crew

ALBANY, La. (WAFB) – A Livingston Parish woman says her business is all but ruined after one mistake by a construction crew hired by Entergy.

“This might be the end of a historic building from 1943 from the beginning of Albany,” said Serena Bel.

Serena Bel is the owner of Lu Lu’s Groom & Board, a pet grooming service in the heart of Albany.

On Wednesday, April 13, she said an independent contractor hired by Entergy started drilling under her shop to install some underground utilities for a nearby company.

Around 4 p.m., Bel said something went wrong.

“It was a very loud crack, like a door had slammed,” said Bel. “It looked like the San Andreas fault was in the middle of my business.”

She said the construction crew was flushing industrial mud underground when the pressure forced the foundation of her business to crack and split open, causing the mud to start rushing in.

“In 2016, for the August flood we had here, we had three feet of standing water. This was worse,” said Bel.

After more than 12 years of renting out the building, Bel was forced to turn in her keys, cut off the utilities and shut down.

Moments after our interview with Bel, Entergy reached out and said they will help her start the complaint claim process.

“When that noise happened, you knew it was the end of the location,” said Bel.

Bel plans to bounce back in a new location, but it will take some time.

“Mistakes happen all the time, and I’m not mad at any one individual, but I’m just mad in general for the fight I have ahead of me,” said Bel. “We will return. We will be back from this.”

Bel said an inspector is scheduled to check out the building on Monday, April 18, but she anticipates it could be a total loss.

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