Flood cleanup continues on Memorial Day
BATON ROUGE - Instead of a Memorial Day BBQ, family gatherings in some neighborhoods involve flood clean-up after the torrential rain two weeks ago. Days later, there's still plenty of work to do.
Clara and Wayne Laird have lived in their Jefferson Terrace home for 44 years. This is the first time they've had to deal with a flood.
"We lost almost all of our stuff," said Wayne.
The Lairds are spending their Memorial Day sifting through what is left in the house and boxing it up. Some of it will be donated.
There is some progress in their neighborhood as the debris on one side of the street has already been collected. But there's been a lot of hardship and there's still plenty of work to do. With all that, Wayne says he's also seen a lot of good.
"There have been a lot of people who have come through and given us flood buckets and meals and so all that helps," he said. "It restores your faith in mankind."
Down the street in Lakeshore Gardens people have taken matters into their own hands and have cleaned out the storm drains since the storm. One resident said he pulled a vacuum and building materials from one of the drains.
"The problem is a lot of the drainage pipes, 24-inch pipes form the system in the neighborhoods eventually get plugged with dead grass naturally or other things people put in the drains," said Les Jensen.
He's lived in the neighborhood for 15 years or so and says he's not sure if the drains in his neighborhood have ever been cleaned out. Jensen got just enough water in his house to destroy all his floors.
The Lairds, without flood insurance, say they're facing a tough reality.
"We just say our prayers," said Wayne.
He's hoping to get some help from FEMA, but already knows that flood insurance will cost him.
"I checked on flood insurance and they told me it's going to be $5,064 a year and how can anyone afford that?" he said.
The City-Parish said its emergency storm collection contractor would work through the Memorial Day weekend.
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