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UPDATE: Progress has been made in clearing EBR waterways

3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago Friday, May 24 2024 May 24, 2024 May 24, 2024 7:05 PM May 24, 2024 in News
Source: The Storm Station

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH - The catastrophic flood of 2016 showed local drainage problems in the capital area. In response, the City-Parish has made a big investment in clearing out the parish waterways. Significant progress has been made up to today.

According to Fred Raiford, Transportation and Drainage Director for East Baton Rouge Parish, the Amite River cleanup project is about 65% complete.

Wards Creek, Dawson Creek, Bayou Fountain, Claycut Bayou, and Elbow Bayou have also been addressed. Jones Creek has been cleared and snagged from the Amite River up to O’Neil Road, with future plans to go north.

Water knows no boundaries, and there are problems on the other side of the river also. East Baton Rouge has been working with Livingston Parish to clean up both sides of the Amite.

Most of the debris clogging the waterways is tree material, but litter is part of the problem too.

“And certainly, we have a lot of trash, which you know, the trash didn't fall from the sky… And it's very frustrating, particularly in many areas of the parish where some of that material can block the drainage itself,” says Raiford.

The Comite River cleanup project was completed in October 2023. The river, a major catch basin for northern sections of the parish, was cleared from the Amite River to Highway 64.

There’s also the Comite River Diversion Project, aiming to redirect flow from the Comite into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Pontchartrain. That project is under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers and DOTD. Raiford says that they hope to finish the project within the next three years according to what he’s told.

While there is more work to do, there have already been noticeable improvements. Raiford says he’s “…had a lot of areas that normally experience street flooding [say that] the water is not in the street [after] a significant rain event.” Despite the progress, more funding is needed to continue the work. As long as that funding is secured, Raiford says the parish won’t stop.

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