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Parishes unite to clean the Amite and Comite rivers, locals still left with questions

2 months 3 days 11 hours ago Sunday, September 25 2022 Sep 25, 2022 September 25, 2022 10:39 PM September 25, 2022 in News

BATON ROUGE - It's been over 50 years since the Amite and Comite rivers had any serious snagging, and officials are working to change that.

Central has dedicated $500,000 towards the Comite River project and East Baton Rouge city-parish has committed nearly $3 million to get it cleaned.

Livingston is working with EBR to get the Amite in better condition. FEMA will fund 90 percent of the project while EBR and Livingston are splitting the remaining 10 percent. The city-parish has also committed $3 million to the Amite.

With the projects underway, it's left concerned citizens like Noel Hunt, with some questions. 

"We just want to know what to expect and when," Hunt said.

Hunt says residents try to stay optimistic and many are reminded about the ongoing delays of the Comite Diversion Canal. After deadlines continuously move back, it isn't expected to be complete until the end of 2025. 

"When we saw that was gonna be the case, we started to get more concerned about the Comite and Amite Rivers."

Hunt also says he's happy to see work on some of the other waterways around the area, but he questions whether or not it's as much of an urgency as getting the Amite and Comite cleaned. 

"They're doing the five Bayou project. They're cleaning canals and bayous running into the rivers, but the problem is, if the rivers aren't cleaned and snagged, and hopefully dredged, then there's no where for the water to go."

Part of the reason both rivers are so bad, is because of what's been collecting in the water since the 1980s, becoming even worse after the 2016 flood.

"Expedite it if you can, we're all very concerned and hopeful this is going to alleviate a lot of the flooding and damage to the people of this community."

As of right now, officials have not indicated when the real work will begin.

Insight into flood hazard predictions in wake of a heavy rain, can be located through the National Weather Service. 

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