Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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City-parish to dismantle part of resident's ring levee he made to protect property from flooding

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BATON ROUGE - Frustrated with the constant threat of flooding, a Baton Rouge homeowner who built a personal ring levee is about to get a big bill from the city-parish to remove it.

Ken Guidry has lived on acres of land for decades in a highly sought-after portion of East Baton Rouge Parish. About a decade ago, he says he built ring levees around his property to stop it from continuing to flood, due to what he says was "constant development."

Last year, the city-parish won a lawsuit against him to dismantle the levees.

"I've taken them down twice," Guidry said. "It's not enough. It's not enough, that's all I get from him. Come tell me what you want and I'll do it. I did it with a tractor, and it's going to cost $63,000 to do it, that's bull s***."

Guidry said after removing portions of the levees, the city-parish said it was not good enough. He said attempts to reach the city parish's drainage guru Fred Raiford have been unsuccessful.

"Tell me what you want to do, Fred," Guidry said. "He hadn't told me a damn thing."

Last month, he sent an email saying Oakbrook and the Settlement at Willowgrove subdivisions were feeling the impact of Guidry's ring levees.

"The city needs to buy me out," Guidry said. "They created the problem and are putting it on me."

A spokesman for the city-parish said "Mr. Guidry is not telling the truth about trying to stay in contact with city-parish throughout this process. Quite to the contrary, he avoided the city-parish and even rejected mail asking him to remove the illegal dam/restriction in the public drainage channel."

Guidry said that's not true.

"Get out of Baton Rouge," Guidry said. "Traffic sucks. Crime sucks. Drainage sucks. It's horrible. Get out of Baton Rouge."

The city-parish expects that work will begin to remove the fill by the end of the month. They expect it to take a couple of days.


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