Contact 9: Drainage dilemma plagues Baker neighborhood - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Contact 9: Drainage dilemma plagues Baker neighborhood

(Source: Hubert VanBuren) (Source: Hubert VanBuren)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: Hubert VanBuren) (Source: Hubert VanBuren)
(Source: Hubert VanBuren) (Source: Hubert VanBuren)
(Source: Hubert VanBuren) (Source: Hubert VanBuren)
BAKER, LA (WAFB) - Dangerously high flood waters curse a Baker subdivision. City leaders said they might have discovered a solution to the problem, but their hands are tied.

People who live in Chemin Place off of Groom Road said the flooding has gotten so bad one woman almost drowned in her car.

Chemin Drive was dry on Friday morning, but when it rains residents said they have a front row seat to a rising river.

"It's terrible, terrible," homeowner Hubert VanBuren said.

"I just ride through, but people with cars, they'll never make it through here," Elvis Turner said.

Cell phone video taken by VanBuren two weeks ago shows flood water covering the streets and creeping into nearby driveways. He also has pictures from heavy rains five years ago that flooded cars and front yards.

"It has gotten so bad, if an ambulance would have to come to this residence or any residence in this neighborhood they could not get to that sick person. We are talking a life or death situation," VanBuren said.

VanBuren said he brought his concerns before the Baker City Council two years ago and even paid to have a survey done on his property to see if there was room on his land to install another drainage pipe. But, he said, he has yet to see any progress.

"I went to the mayor's office and they turned me away. They told me what they were going to do about the issues but never came up with any resolution," VanBuren said.

9News took copies of his pictures and complaints to Mayor Harold Rideau. 

"It was a design flaw when the subdivision was laid out," Rideau said.

Rideau explained the contractor built the subdivision too low. As a result, the streets have become drainage ditches. He said VanBuren was told to return to the city council to dedicate a servitude, meaning give them permission to install another drainage pipe on his property, but so far he has not done that.

"That will take water out faster. I'm not saying this won't happen again, but at least we would have done what we said we were going to do two years ago," Rideau said.

VanBuren said he is willing to take his chances on a fix like that, if it means keeping himself and his neighbors safe.

"I'll get with them again, but at the same time they need to do what they need to do," VanBuren said.

The city said the extra work would be at no cost to VanBuren. 

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