Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Drainage issue identified months ago, neighborhood flooded in May

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BATON ROUGE - People who live in neighborhoods that flooded last month are living in fear over what could happen this weekend with the threat of tropical weather, especially when they came across problem areas that have not been addressed for a long time.

Homes in Briar Place off of Jefferson Highway flooded last month. After Russell Barcelona got water in his house, he decided to walk the drainage ditches. He tells 2 On Your Side he found a problem with the drainage ditch that connects to his subdivision.

That ditch is along the new Materra Subdivision and BASIS charter school in Baton Rouge. While the ditch looks like it's been sprayed with herbicide, it's a concern for Barcelona.

"This whole street on this side flooded," he said. "People were ripping out Sheetrock, cabinets. I ripped out carpet flooring."

Barcelona has lived in Briar Place for 12 years. This was the first time he's had an issue with water in his house, but some of his neighbors have flooded before.

Barcelona and other people in the neighborhood say they have been in contact with 311 to get the drainage further inspected and cleared.

"It needs to be dredged out so every time there's a flash flood we don't have flooding," he said.

Thursday, 2 On Your Side asked the city-parish about the drainage issue. The parish says the ditch itself isn't in bad shape, but it's calling a spot where Briar Place drainage meets Materra drainage a "bad junction." The parish says that junction creates a current which backs up water and delays the flow of water.

The city-parish says it's working on a solution so the two neighborhood drainage ditches can continue to flow into one another.

However, some residents in Briar Place say this isn't anything new and the City-Parish has known about the "bad junction."

Corey Levey is the former President of Briar Place HOA and says he's been fighting with the city-parish to get something done since 2019.


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