Sewage backing up into Baton Rouge homes
BATON ROUGE - Sherwood Forest residents say Friday night's heavy rains caused raw sewage to back up into their homes.
Johnny Squyers says he's battled overflowing toilets and brown water for decades at his home.
"Oh the smell was horrible. We couldn't stay in the house, and most of our neighbors left last night and went to a hotel because they couldn't stand the odor," he said.
Other residents in the area echoed that the problem has gone on for years.
"You know it's sewer. If you know anything about the smell of sewer it's very unpleasant, very frustrating. It will make you sick quite frankly," said Will Belton.
Squyers says when the rain is on the way he gets his bleach and buckets ready to combat the sewage.
"You know you gotta be home, so you have to watch the weather and be home when the storm front is moving in. You know you gotta be back home. You gotta bail your commodes and your bathtubs out and so forth. You put a five gallon bucket and bail it out with a one gallon bucket and dump all the sewage outside cause there's no place else to dump it," he said.
The Department of Public Works says it plans to upgrade 50 sewer pump stations in the area as part of its Sanitary Sewer Overflow Program. DPW also has plans for a $12 million upgrade to sewer lines around Sherwood Forest in the next few years.
Residents we spoke with say they want a solution now.
"They've promised us many things and delivered nothing. At least Santa Claus comes once a year. The city-parish has been promising this to us for 40 years and they haven't come yet," said Squyers.
"There's got to be some kind of way to repair the system so it will not be a recurring incident. This is a recurring incident," said Belton.
DPW says plans are to spend a lot of money into the problem area to fix the sewage issue.