EBR continues drainage discussions through public meetings
BATON ROUGE - In the past, East Baton Rouge Parish has been criticized by residents as having horrible drainage systems, but officials say they are not only fixing the issues, but creating solutions to avoid these problems in the future.
"Every neighbor along this canal or alongside of it has gotten flooded," said Wendell Carrier, a resident near Ward Creek.
You don't have to search far within the parish to find homeowners frustrated with flooding from poor drainage.
"The drainage system needs to be cleaned out a lot often. You know, the city comes by. They stop, get out of their truck, take a look at it. [They say] 'oh, we'll send somebody to clean it, you got to call it in,'" Carrier said.
Carrier has been living in his home for more than 35 years, and up until last year, flooding was not an issue.
"We have never gotten flooded. The highest it got was about up to the banks, but this past May, water got into our house. We got about 4 inches of water into our house, so we started trying to take matters into our own hands," he said.
But those involved with parish drainage say they don't want residents to feel that way, and that's exactly why they're hosting these meetings.
"Well, everybody has their own opinion on how important a meeting may or may not be, and I'll never tell people they should be there, but I tell you what: if you want to find out what's going on, this is the place to do," said Fred Raiford, the transportation and drainage director for the parish.
At the meeting, there were different stations to walk residents through the master plan, talking about projects the city has done and plans on doing.
"It's mostly to give people some idea what we've been spending our money on, trying to address what are problems are in our parish drainage wise," Raiford explained.
Participants seemed to be satisfied with the outcome of this meeting.
"If the city put this on, it's one of the best things they've ever done. It does sound like action's being taken. I don't know if the politicians will actually listen, but it does sound like the people who actually know what's going on, and I was really excited to see some of the things they are talking about and discussing,” said Stephen Radcliffe, a participant.
The parish is hosting a series of these meetings by location, and there will be several others next week. For more information, click here.
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