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Creek washout meant to be repaired last year now affecting residents' yards

2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago Thursday, June 16 2022 Jun 16, 2022 June 16, 2022 7:20 PM June 16, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A broken drainage pipe is causing major erosion that's affecting two properties in East Baton Rouge Parish. It's been growing for about five years.

The hole is being washed out when it rains and water drains to and through Jones Creek. It's eating up all sorts of things, like a fence and Greg Arthur's patience.

"We just can't take it anymore," said Arthur. "We want someone to get out here and get it done."

The hole is in Arthur's backyard. The rear corner of his lot and the corner of the lot next to him have already disappeared. The washout has also cleared supporting dirt around an Entergy electric pole. Arthur fears the next rain could knock out the pole and his electricity.

"We should not have to live this way," he said.

He's been watching the hole grow since 2017. That's when the problem was first called into the city-parish. His neighbor recently put up a new fence to keep out the dogs. The fence was built on an angle to border the hole, and now it's in danger of being washed out.

The broken pipe takes water from the street to Jones Creek. There are two visible breaks in the pipe and Arthur thinks there could be more. The sidewalk across the street from him is sinking and the sidewalk in front of his house is sinking. When it rains, it causes drainage issues on his street.

"This drainage situation is wreaking havoc on everybody's normal lifestyle," said Arthur.

In the last few weeks, the city-parish has been by, and Entergy has marked a new location for the pole that needs to move, but work to fix the problem hasn't yet started.

"I feel like the city-parish, the mayor, everybody involved with this, are not focusing their attention on getting these projects done quick enough to where people can get back to a normal way of living," he said.

The more it rains, the more dirt washes away. Thursday, 2 On Your Side learned that the issue was supposed to be put on the city-parish repair schedule in May 2021. The parish says it will be repaired with American Rescue Plan dollars. It's marked as "under construction" on the parish drainage project dashboard.

While the city-parish has over 1,200 cave-in requests, the maintenance department has agreed to move this request ahead of others that have been in the system even longer. There were questions about utilities that took time to understand.

Entergy says it doesn't have a solid timeline yet, but they are preparing to move the pole.

In the meantime, Arthur isn't sure what to do other than wait and worry.

"I'm worried about, you know, is the ground eroding underneath me right now as we're speaking? Am I going to possibly have a cave-in occur?" he said.

Earlier this week, 2 On Your Side reported on another sinkhole in Sherwood Forest where repairs started following a report.

The city-parish says it's making progress while utilizing American Rescue Act Funding to bring in additional capacity to address the backlog of cave-ins across the parish. So far, 59 cave-in repairs, 102 catch basin repairs, and 35 pipe repairs have been completed.

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