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Property slipping away because of erosion along creek

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UPDATE: The City-Parish says that because of the severity of the erosion at the back of Al Alexander's property related to the damaged concrete canal lining, this area is prioritized to eliminate further erosion and loss of property. It estimates the site will be repaired within the year.

Engineering is working to have the concrete canal lining repairs designed by a local engineering firm. The City-Parish says some of this area is in the Ward's Creek watershed which could fall in Corps of Engineers territory.

BATON ROUGE - There's a sinkhole behind a man's house, that backs up to Ward Creek in Baton Rouge. He says a concrete portion of the creek has busted into smaller pieces, eroding the ground underneath and washing away part of his property.

Al Alexander says he contacted the City-Parish about this in March 2017 and someone with the Department of Public Works visited his home to inspect the issue. That was the last he heard from them. Now more than a year later, Alexander says his problem is troubling.

"About four or five years ago we noticed the fence started to collapse," said Alexander. "It's gotten worse since then."

When Ward Creek fills, the water forms a whirlpool under Alexander's fence. He says it's eaten away anywhere from 10-20 feet more dirt than what he can see from the surface. His fence is hanging above a 10 to 15-foot drop of open air, which leads into the creek.

As more dirt washes away with each rain he fears the worst, that he'll lose more of his property, and someone could get hurt.    

"It's like having a swimming pool I didn't build and now I'm liable for it," he said.

Other parts of his property are starting to show signs of erosion, but there's not much he can do to stop what's happening if there's now water barrier.

"It's a parish issue, it's their property," said Alexander. "I would hope they address it."

The City-Parish says it's looking into this and the report made last year.

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