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Iberville council signs off on Bayou Manchac deal with EBR

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ST. GABRIEL - With a private pond and plenty of land, Sandra Little's property on Bayou Paul Lane has been her slice of heaven for decades.

"I'm 72-years-old, and I moved out here in my late 20s," Little said. "It's just been a great place to raise my son and for him to grow up out here, and for me too."

Even though Little has lost some of the privacy she once had due to more construction in the area, her biggest concern is recent flooding.

"It's very disappointing," Little said. "It does take away a lot of peace of mind because you worry all time, 'is it gonna flood this year, is this the year it's gonna flood?'"

The cinderblocks lifting her home off the ground still show where water reached from May flooding. Her first significant fight with rising water came in 2016.

"This time not only was it under the house, it was almost touching the bottom of the floor," Little said.

However, with a new agreement between Iberville and East Baton Rouge parishes, officials hope to ease the fear Little and many other residents face when it floods.

Tuesday, the Iberville Parish Council gave Parish President Mitch Ourso the go-ahead to sign an agreement with East Baton Rouge to clear and snag Bayou Manchac from Highway 30 to the Alligator Bayou flood control gate.

East Baton Rouge's Metro Council OK'd the project earlier this month.

A similar project between East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes is already underway.

With the partnership between East Baton Rouge and Iberville official, the first step will be to hash out exact details of the work to be done and the funding needed for it.

"I'm sure there will be a meeting of the minds in the near future," Ourso told WBRZ earlier this month. "I mean, we're getting close to the Thanksgiving holidays and I'm sure that the people from the East Baton Rouge drainage department and Iberville will come up with a scope of work."

For Little, she's pleased to see the two parishes working out an agreement, saying something must be done, starting with clearing some of the vegetation from Bayou Manchac.

"It messes up the drainage system," Little said. "They've never taken care of any of that, they just let it overgrow. The trees are beautiful, but they need to go."

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