Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Dozens of used tires dumped in flood victim's backyard

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BATON ROUGE - A flood victim, who is waiting to rebuild her Park Forest home, recently discovered a mess dumped in her backyard.

Demetra DeRouen says she has no idea who turned her property into a dumping ground. There are at least 70 used tires that were left on her property, in addition to molding couches.

"If I knew who did it, it'd be one thing," she said.

DeRouen says she doesn't return to the gutted house too often because of all the memories that were washed away in the flood. She was in the hospital having lung surgery when her home took on three feet of water in 2016. About two weeks ago, she says a neighbor who helps manicure her lawn, called to tell her about the dumped tires. DeRouen says she doesn't understand why someone would target her property.

"It's hurtful," she said. "It's adding insult to injury it's like taking salt and pouring it in an open wound."

For the last few days, DeRouen says she's been making phone calls trying to find someone to help her remove the tires and couches, but she hasn't had any luck yet.

"They told me it was a disposal fee on top of having somebody to come and pick them up," she said.

That bill is something DeRouen can't afford right now, but she knows she has to do something. She received a letter from the City of Baton Rouge that says she's in violation and must bring her property into compliance by June 25. If the violation is not cleared by then, DeRouen will have to appear before Blight Court on June 28.

The mosquito breeding ground is weighing her down and says the people who dumped the trash on her property should come back and clean it up.

"Apparently they have no moral compass," she said.


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