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Land erosion might be up to homeowner to fix

3 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 April 17, 2019 5:53 PM April 17, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Homeowners fighting erosion problems say they're being left on their own. East Baton Rouge Parish says it won't be handling erosion issues within the servitude. 

Eric Simcoe and Rudy Bourgeios are neighbors in the Pecan Creek neighborhood of Baton Rouge. Between their properties is a drainage ditch, carrying water from behind their homes and across the street. Over the years, that ditch has nearly quadrupled in size.

A wall made out of wood securing the dirt on either side of the ditch has fallen into the ditch and no longer serves its purpose. Simcoe is concerned about sinkholes forming along his property and his air conditioner, which is now leaning toward the ditch. Bourgeios says he's at risk of losing his fence.

"The fence could fall into the ditch any day now," Bourgeios said.

He used to be able to walk on solid ground between his fence and the ditch, but all that land has washed away. He says he can count two times someone from the City-Parish has been out to his home to clean the ditch. He's lived there since 1989. He recently contacted the City-Parish to see if there was anything that could be done to stop the erosion. Soon after he called, his ticket was closed. The second time he called, someone called him back.

"The guy said there's nothing they can do," Bourgeios said.

The Parish tells 2 On Your Side the erosion is within its servitude and no action is required, so no action is planned. Simcoe and Bourgeios say the servitude goes all the way to their foundations and worry if the erosion reaches that point, action still won't be taken.

A similar response was given to a property owner's issue covered by 2 On Your Side in February. George Anderson says the ditch behind the property he owns in Baker has taken feet of his property and his fence is falling in. The parish says no action is required there either.

Right now, all Bourgeios can do is watch as more of his property washes away.

"It devalues our property, there's trees in the ditch," he said.

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