Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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All he wants is his drainage fixed, grass cut

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BATON ROUGE - A man says it has been a journey trying to get the City-Parish to help him with his drainage concerns. Harry Johnson lives near Florida Boulevard and North Flannery Road. He's been talking with 2 On Your Side since September 2021 about the water backing up around his home.

"I want them to clean it out, get it to where it'll drain," Johnson said.

That's all he wantspeace of mindto know that the drainage around his home works.

"If it rains for two or three days then it's going to come up in the backyard, possibly into the back of my house," he said.

This is a legitimate concern for Johnson because he's flooded before. He says he's been contacting the city's 311 call center about the drainage issues since 2016.

"Every month I call and renew it or email them and I don't get any results at all," Johnson said.

WBRZ checkedthere are multiple open and closed service requests.

The ditch in front of his house sometimes backs up into his front yard. He says he can take days before the water drains. A few houses down, a pipe was crushed and it prevents the water from draining the way it should.

The ditch behind his house is littered with trash and discarded items like a plastic pool and a bicycle. Johnson says he hasn't seen it cleaned out since before the 2016 flood.

During heavy rain, he says Warfield Avenue fills with water and cars stall out there.

The City-Parish says the storm drains have been cleaned out, but Johnson lives in a flood-prone area. While the drainage ditch behind his house is full of trash and debris, the parish says it's maintained multiple times a year with herbicide. The parish also says the broken pipe stopping up the drainage will be looked into.

"There's probably a lot worse going on than here, but it still needs to be addressed," he said.

Johnson says he looks forward to the day when he can cut the grass and not worry about his lawnmower sinking.


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