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EBR Metro Council likely to discuss moratorium among flood mitigation efforts

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BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Metro Council may discuss the possibility of a pause on new construction projects in the area. 

The moratorium would be implemented as one of several solutions to reoccurring flooding issues in the Parish. 

In May, heavy rainfall led to dozens of EBR residents packing up and evacuating their homes as residential and commercial structures across the region took on water.

Three months later, a number of these flood victims are still working to repair flood-damaged homes.  

The moratorium that may be up for discussion during Wednesday's Council meeting would put the brakes on new developments in areas that have flooded in the past. 

As a temporary measure, it would likely last for no more than 12 months.

Should the moratorium be implemented, it would accompany the Parish's $20 million Stormwater Master Plan, which was created to "identify flood-related risks, vulnerabilities, and recommend prioritized capital improvements to mitigate or reverse those risks."

The Master Plan is expected to facilitate drainage repair, debris removal, and other flood mitigation efforts. 

Officials say these steps are the beginning of a larger process to ward off flooding in the region. 

Councilman Rowdy Gaudet touched on this during a recent interview with WBRZ, saying, "We have to take an all hands approach. And, I think both the administration and this council is lockstep on that. We've got to be addressing how we manage water comprehensively, and I think you're seeing that."

Gaudet continued, "This moratorium, as I said, is just one piece of a puzzle that gets us to better managing the water in East Baton Rouge Parish. We want to implement these drainage maintenance projects, we want to get some of these major channels cleaned out and widened so that we can better manage our water. And this is the approach that we're taking."

Parish leaders are slated to present details of their flood-mitigation approach to the public Wednesday, September 8. 

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