Barge removal started on False River
NEW ROADS - Following a 2 On Your Side report, a crew made the first steps to remove a barge from False River Tuesday.
The barge floated onto a woman's property when False River was high in August during the flood. It then tipped over her bulkhead into the water, where it's been ever since.
Baton Rouge company Coastal Bridge began dismantling the barge Tuesday morning.
Noel Loftus lives along False River. The bottom of the barge faces the back of her home, blocking her view of the water and wildlife.
"I love birds so I'm anxious to see that again," she said.
Over the past few months, Loftus said she made multiple calls to different agencies about getting help to remove the barge, including Wildlife and Fisheries. She says many agencies didn't call her back.
About two weeks ago, 2 On Your Side aired Loftus' story and called Mayor Robert Myer who agreed something needed to be done.
"It's not a pretty sight," said Myer.
He connected the barge owner with Loftus and all parties agreed to work together to remove the barge. Myer says because False River is state property, not city the barge owner had to sign over ownership. Myer says he called a couple of agencies to help assist with the barge removal and Coastal Bridge responded.
"They were ready, willing and able to help in this community," said Myer.
Tuesday, Coastal Bridge was working with a crew to remove the pontoon that's sticking out of the water. The crew will dismantle the barge in pieces and haul them to the other side of False River where they will be cut into pieces and recycled.
Loftus is happy to see change that not only affects her, but her neighbors.
"It's wonderful, it's been a long time and I'm glad to see it gone," she said.
The barge removal will take a couple of days. Coastal Bridge hopes to have it completely removed from the water by the end of the week.