Officials find source of Garden District drainage issues
BATON ROUGE - An area hit hard by a June rain event is learning about a possible source of the problem.
The Garden District in Baton Rouge had major street flooding. Water flooded cars and a handful of homes as a result.
"Cars are flooding, some houses are flooding. It's a whole compounding issue that is a challenge for people," Garden District Civic Association Vice President Justin Kozak said.
Cherokee Street resembled a river on June 6, 2019, when the rain didn't have anywhere to go. In July, residents in the area met with the City-Parish to discuss their concerns and learn more about what could be done.
The city-parish and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development worked together to pinpoint problem areas. DOTD says it's checked all drainage boxes from I-10 to S 22nd Street and drainage pipes from I-10 to Park Blvd. It's identified problem areas from S 14th Street to Park Blvd. It says the pipe cleaning subcontractor started cleaning the pipes along Government Street on August 21, 2019. So far, it's completed the eastbound side of Government Street from S 14th Street to S 16th Street. DOTD reports that this portion of existing drainage was "severely clogged and needed immediate attention."
Only areas that need immediate attention have been addressed during construction. The drainage systems located within the project will be checked and cleaned once all the asphalt is laid. The state also plans to check two box culverts near the intersection of Government Street and Eugene Street during the Thanksgiving holiday to avoid school traffic.
The city-parish says these drainage areas handle a good portion of the water runoff from the Garden District.
The areas where problems have been identified are not in a flood zone. Many residents understood it to be a problem with the local drainage system and aren't surprised to learn what was found underground.
"Clearly if you have completely clogged pipes you just can't drain water there," Kozak said.
The hope is that this discovery will help water drain faster the next time it rains.