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BEAUMONT, Texas — People in Beaumont used to call their town “Bayou City” because it was underwater so often. “We can get more than 100 inches of rain in a year,” said Richard LeBlanc Jr., general manager of Jefferson County Drainage District No. 6. It’s his job to manage all of that rainwater, for Beaumont and nearly the whole county. It’s challenging work. LeBlanc and his staff can tick off the years - 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 - that brought 10 to 15 inches or more of water each time it rained. In 2001, Beaumont got a total of 103 inches of rain. Jefferson County has consistently ranked among the top places in the United States for flood losses, including hundreds of properties that experience severe repetitive losses.

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