Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Heavy rain overwhelms Baton Rouge drainage systems Wednesday

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BATON ROUGE - With heavy rain causing many streets in East Baton Rouge to flood Wednesday morning, commuters might have been better off in a boat than a car. 

“We had a lot of places throughout the parish, mostly in the west part of the parish, some in the southwest where we had a lot of rain that exceeds our design standards from a rainfall event," Director of Transportation and Drainage, Fred Raiford, said. 

More than four inches of rain fell on the city in a matter of hours. It was more than enough to overwhelm the drainage system, which was only designed to withstand two inches of rain per hour when they are completely clean. 

The matter is further complicated when storm drains and canals are clogged with debris. Raiford says, despite their constant work to clear out those drains, the city-parish is always playing catch-up.

“We are out in the areas that we are aware of at this point, trying to open up those stopped up drains and some debris has been pushed into the storm drain box… but we are making as many areas as we can to get these things unstopped and where they’ll be functional. Hopefully we can get that done before most of the day is over with."

With more rain in the forecast for the rest of the week, a city-parish spokesperson told WBRZ Wednesday that they are concerned for future flooding, as the rainwater is accumulating. Anyone who experiences flooding on the roads or near their home is urged to report the issue to 311 immediately. 


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