After losing court fight, BR man who built personal levees will need to remove part of them
BATON ROUGE- After losing a court battle in April, Baton Rouge resident Ken Guidry will have to remove fill that was placed in a drainage servitude. The city-parish said it will be putting the project out for bid to hire someone to do the work.
That fill is part of the foundation of his personal levees he built around his home following flooding that has continued unabated for years.
In July, we spoke to Guidry and he expressed his concerns about flooding and the need for his levees.
"I did it with no permits, that's what they are coming after me for now," Guidry said.
For decades, Guidry has been dealing with the flooding problem until he took matters into his own hands. Following May's flash flood, Guidry said he had four feet of water inside the bottom level of his home even with the levees.
"It took me two years," Guidry said. "I bought a backhoe and a dump truck and every bit of dirt I moved myself."
In April, the city won a judgement but it has not taken action to enforce it until flash flooding once again became a concern this week with Nicholas.
"Originally, we thought we were going to take care of it with our own maintenance division," EBR Drainage Director Fred Raiford said. "As it turns out, because of COVID and a few other manpower issues, I'm not able to do so."
Raiford said bids will go out this month, and once the work is completed the bill will be sent to Guidry.
"I'll make a recommendation that the cost be recovered," Raiford said.
Despite part of the foundation of Guidry's levees having to be removed, Raiford doesn't think it will impact him.
"What we are going to do should be no negative impact to his property," Raiford said. "He may say he may want to divert the water, but it's been running that way forever. All we are trying to do is bring it to its natural concept."
Guidry believes it will absolutely affect him and thinks the parish did not do enough to develop in a smart manner.
"If it wouldn't be for my levees, in an afternoon shower it would wash in my house," Guidry said.
The city-parish says it's not sure how much it will cost to remove the fill from their servitude. Following flooding in May, city leaders recognized the drainage system was not adequate for that area and announced an initiative to widen a 400-foot section of Ward's Creek.