Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Businesses, residents happy the city-parish is cleaning drainage channels to address flooding

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BATON ROUGE - Heavy rain and clogged canals have plenty of Baton Rouge homeowners worried about flooding.

People living and working near Claycut Bayou are relieved the city-parish is cleaning out the waterway.

“I mean, we had to call customers and let them know that their cars got flooded, and they were going to have to make claims on their insurance policies. We lost a lot of business because of it, because those cars did flood,” said Craig Aultman, a manager at Cavin’s Auto Repair. 

The repair shop sits right by Claycut Bayou, and last May, cars got flooded instead of fixed

“We had a lot of rain in a short period of time, very late in the afternoon that night," Aultman said. "By the time we knew that the bayou was coming up, and we tried to get to the shop to move some cars so they wouldn't get damaged, it was too late."

Multiple cars flooded from the excess water that had nowhere to go since the bayou was already filled with water and debris. 

“We even got water in the shop. We got 16 inches of water in the office area and the shop itself,” Aultman said. 

The city-parish says they've been cleaning out drainage channels like Claycut Bayou for the last five weeks. 

"When it rains, it flows out pretty good, but it still needs to be cleaned out. It hadn't been cleaned since the early 80s. I'm sure if they cleaned it, it'll drain much better,” said nearby resident Keith Banta.  

Banta has been living right on the bayou for 38 years. Normally, he says it doesn't flood in the area, but there have been several close calls. 

“A flash flood in May did almost the same thing, where it came over the banks. It came awfully close. Too close for comfort, really,” he said. 

The city-parish says they've cleared more than 17 million pounds of debris from these drainage ways since last June.


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