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House that's flooded five times elevated, others to be elevated soon

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BATON ROUGE - There's a big change coming to a flood-prone street in Baton Rouge. A lot of homes on Honeysuckle Avenue flood.

Mechelle Evans says her home has flooded a handful of times and she's gutted it just as many. This week, her home is being elevated.

"They are breaking my house away from the cement, digging underneath it; they're going to lift it four feet off the ground," she said.

Evans says when they do this all of her pipes, sewage, and foundation will have to be rebuilt. But that doesn't matter to her, since she says this project will finally give her peace of mind when it rains.

Evans house elevation is part of the 2018 Flood Mitigation Protection grant which includes 38 homes that will either be elevated or acquired and torn down in the parish. The City-Parish says about eight of those properties will be elevated in the next 30 days, contingent on the property owner and contractors finalizing plans to move forward. Several other grants are working concurrently, including one from the 2016 flood and another from Hurricane Gustav. In total, 66 homes will either be elevated or acquired this year in East Baton Rouge Parish through various grants.

"I've been waiting for six years," said Evans. "I've been in this program for six years and we are finally here today."

Honeysuckle Ave. will look very different in the next few years. Some homes are being torn down or elevated through flood mitigation grants, others are being torn down by the state to make way for the I-10 expansion project.

"It's been a tough and long road and it's been tough living this life," said Evans.

When the project is complete, Evans' house will be four feet off the ground and out of the flood zone. She says she'll feel much better knowing she won't lose everything when it rains.

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