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Prep for Comite cleaning project underway after 2 On Your Side report about Bayou Manchac

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CENTRAL - Wayne St. Romain lives in the flood-prone Winchester neighborhood that was covered in water in 2016.

"When I get a heavy rain, I get really nervous, and I just don't like that at all," Romain said.

Winchester is close to the Comite River, where tree limbs and other debris collect, slowing drainage.

"The Comite River played a huge part in the flooding," Metro Councilman Aaron Moak.

Moak represents the Central area and says during the flood, water in the Comite and its tributaries backed up and swallowed the city.

"Once it started backing up, most of the place it had to go was the City of Central," Moak said.

The councilman also says East Baton Rouge Parish hired a contractor that is already investigating how much debris is lurking in the Comite.

"This is not a study of whether it needs to be done, it's a study of what it's going to cost to go in and snag and clear the river to clean it of all the debris," Moak said.

Moak says once they find out how much it's going to cost to clean the river, the parish will have to find the money to remove the trash and debris. He said once the Comite is snagged and cleared, steps must be taken to keep the debris and trash out of the water.

"We have to keep them maintained, or we're going to be back in the same situation in 10, 15, 20 years from now," Moak said.

The report on the cost of cleaning the river is expected to be complete by April 19. Moak says he's already looking at funding to pay for that work to be done.


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