East Baton Rouge braces for potential impact of Marco, Laura
BATON ROUGE - Parishes are making sure drainage areas are working properly before this week's weather. In addition to stock sand, sandbags, and inspecting major drainage areas, East Baton Rouge Parish is also staging barricades in case they're needed.
Six roads in Jefferson Terrace have recently been repaved, but people living there say the drainage still needs work.
"The flooding occurs more and more frequently now," said Charles Mayeux. "About a month ago, it got up to my knees."
Mayeux lives on Azrok Avenue and says so far this year, his street has filled with water three times. Traffic driving through then pushes the water over the curbs and up to the front steps of homes. It's caused at least one resident to flood twice.
"It happens so quickly sometimes, you know, by the time we call the Maintenance Department and have somebody get out here it'll be too late," said Mayeux.
With more rain in the forecast, some Jefferson Terrace residents contacted the City-Parish before the next big rain. Friday morning, the City-Parish brought barricades to the neighborhood and crews cleaned catch basins. They also took a look at the drainage canal that goes through the neighborhood to make sure it can handle the rainwater.
"We put out some temporary barricades for this particular street on Azrok, it does catch water and we'll do what we can to try to at least minimize the traffic through here when the street is flooding," said Director of Transportation and Drainage Fred Raiford. "We're out every day addressing drainage-related issues, cleaning ditches, cleaning storm drain pipes."
The City-Parish says it's also investigating a larger concern. A new school nearing completion has been built on a once-grassy lot. The parish says it's received concerns over whether the plan included adequate drainage.
"There's been a lot of concerns with retention ponds overflowing," said Raiford. "We're going to look into that."
While the bigger picture is being investigated, by staging barricades, the parish is now one step ahead of the weather, helping to protect properties like Mayeux's.
Robin Kay lives in Monticello and says she say a crew in her neighborhood clearing out storm drains Monday morning.
"They were on Monticello Blvd doing something with the drains so I'm hoping that's part of all this," she said.
Her house flooded with five feet of water in 2016. Ever since, she says the streets in her neighborhood overflow with water during a heavy rain. She doesn't want to relive the 2016 flood.
"It comes up so quickly if I wanted to leave to try to get out I can't because it's already too deep," said Kay.
The City-Parish assures its residents that it continues to clear debris and says the three pumping stations it looks after are operational. They have been checked and are ready to roll if they're needed.
EBR says more barricades were stocked over the weekend and the warehouse is stocked with 3,965 yards of sand and 400,000 sandbags.
Volunteers are currently helping fill sandbags at various locations. The Storm Debris Collection Contractor has been put on alert and the parish has mobilized its back-up generator contractor to fuel up and top of fuel tanks. A contingency plan has been worked out for Tuesday and Wednesday with Republic Services, if needed.
Ascension Parish says the Marvin Braud Pumping Station will be activated Sunday evening. The pumping station will start drawing down the water in the parish waterways later that night. It also has pre-filled sandbags available at various sites across the parish, should anyone need them.
More than 40,000 pre-filled sandbags are available.
Livingston Parish says it's monitoring the weather situation and has reached out to the emergency operations center staff to be on standby.
You can read the full list of preparation's from the city-parish government below.
1. Barricades will be staged over the weekend.
2. The warehouse is stocked with 3,695 yards of sand and 400,000 sandbags.
3. Community sandbag locations are being restocked with sand & sand bags, should they be activated.
4. Inspections are scheduled for the major drainage outfalls.
5. The storm debris collection contractor has been put on alert.
6. The back-up generator contractor has been mobilized to fuel up/top off the fuel tanks.
7. City-Parish building roofs, window wells, and drains are being cleared; sump pumps are being checked.
8. The 311 Call Center is ready with personnel on standby.
9. Capital Lakes is at 30 feet and will be lowered to accommodate the anticipated rainfall.
10. A contingency plan is in place with Republic Services for Tuesday/Wednesday if needed.