After a dozen floods, man moves into flood-free home
BATON ROUGE - A man whose home has flooded a dozen times has moved out and into a new house.
Jim Jobes and his wife moved into their home on Donaldson Drive in 1980. He had six feet of water twice, four feet of water twice and this last time was the worst. In August, flood water rose about four feet into his attic.
Last week, Jobes bought a new home off Old Hammond Highway. He says he asked his neighbors before purchasing the house to guarantee it's never flooded before.
"Glad to be shed of that nightmare," said Jobes.
The new home is built up high. Jobes is spending the next couple of weeks getting it move-in ready by cleaning the air ducts and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint.
"We're going to be comfortable, it's just going to take some time to get used to it," he said.
Along with his neighbors, Jobes sold his home for pennies on the dollar. Six months ago, he told WBRZ if the Comite Diversion Canal was complete it could have saved his home. A $200 million hurdle stands in the way of the project's completion.
After paying taxes on the project for years, Jobes says there's nothing to show for it.
"Out of the 12 times I've flooded, it probably would have solved 8 of them," he said.
The Department of Transportation and Development is working with the Amite River Basin Commission to relocate utilities that is estimated to cost $50 million. A number of bridges over the canal also needs to be built. The ARBC says if about $35 million becomes available, bridge construction projects could start up again. Another 200-300 acres of land for canal-crossing and right of way is still needed.
Dietmar Rietschier, Executive Director of ARBC says, "The Diversion Canal can provide 80-90 percent of future flood relief in floods that compare to the 1983 event, the 2016 flood was just historic."
Jobes hopes to be moved into his new home within the next three weeks.