As 2022 ends, still no visible progress on Comite and Amite river cleanup
BATON ROUGE - It appears flood-prone residents along the Comite and Amite rivers won't be getting what they really want for Christmas this year—and haven't for the last 60.
A proper snagging and dragging of the waterways hasn't been done since 1963.
"We sit here at the end of November of '22 with absolutely zero improvement in drainage capability since the flood of August 2016. I think that's derelict," said Robert Burns, who heads the group Concerned Citizens for Drainage Improvement.
Funding for the project has been secured and contractors have been selected, but issues like getting permits and working around protected wetlands persist.
Especially since it appears the city-parish and Corps of Engineers keep pinning the blame on each other.
"Everybody's got an excuse about why things don't get done and it's always the other person. They're waiting on EBR to let them know they have the right of way and EBR is saying they're waiting on the permits from the Corps to be able to go forward."
The city-parish says it's trying to speed up that process by securing partial permits for segments of the river, and trying to get landowners permission to use private property to get around wetland issues.
Still, no start date has been set.