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Baton Rouge residents face drainage relief concerns

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BATON ROUGE - As Louisiana braces for Potential Tropical Cyclone Three, some Capital area residents are worried that severe flooding in May will be followed by yet another month of high water dangers.  

So, a number of locals are taking steps to protect their homes from the weather, and for many, these protective measures include the use of sandbags. 

One area sandbag location at Memorial Stadium has been busy the past couple of days. 

Residents visiting the site to pick up sandbags told WBRZ they're willing to do whatever it takes to prevent their homes from flooding again. 

But a number of these locals also say they realize that, in the long-term, more than sandbags are needed. 

Many want local officials to address drainage problems. 

For example, Russell Barcelona of Briar Place subdivision survived last month's severe rain event and said it was the first time his home flooded. 

He pointed out that an overgrown ditch that has not been dredged in years appears to be the source of the problem. 

Barcelona said, "This drainage ditch and this concrete is what leads out drainage in the neighborhood. Our concrete ditch is holding water. It's never held water before, it's usually dry. Where it does exit, or pour into, is where the problem is. That ditch is totally overgrown. It doesn't look like it's been dredged in over 10 years."

The city parish told WBRZ it's working to continue emergency debris removal throughout the area, and that contractors have already collected over 475 loads of debris. 

With hurricane season just around the corner, and Tropical Cyclone Three hours away from arrival, many are rushing to carry out flooding preparations as quickly as possible. 

As of 7:30 a.m., Friday, Potential Tropical Cyclone Three was about 250 miles south of Morgan City, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph).

Officials say a Flash Flood Watch for the area will go into effect at 1 p.m., Friday. 

As the storm is likely to bring heavy rain and wind to the region, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency, on Thursday. 

WBRZ’s Weather Team is monitoring storm developments and reporting updates on newscasts and on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

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