Flooding blocks retirement community

Retirement community blocked by flooding
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When weather gets rough, residents at the Dumas House on North Sherwood Forest Boulevard know moving cars is a necessity.

In a downpour, which the Baton Rouge Metro area has seen a lot of lately, the parking lot becomes a pond. The folks living at the retirement community say it's an ongoing problem, making it difficult to leave and even ruining a few cars.

"Last time when it flooded like this, the dumpster floated up against the side of one of the resident's cars," said resident Donna Pettitte.

The East Baton Rouge Council on Aging owns the property and Volunteers of America manage it. Fliers inside warn residents that flooding could happen.

Amanda Gustavson, the Volunteers of America marketing director, admits the situation is not ideal. Gustavson said there was a drainage project completed last year and that they are working with an engineer and architect to continue to address the issue. Unfortunately, flash flooding can easily overwhelm the area in the meantime.

"The safety of our residents is our highest priority and we are working, putting all resources into addressing the flooding situation," said Gustavson.

Residents say that a solution can't come soon enough.

"I'd like for the parking lot to get fixed," said resident Sherryl Veal. "What ever they have to do. It doesn't matter. We just need something done."

The East Baton Rouge Council on Aging released a statement early Wednesday morning that it has been "exhaustively looking for solutions to fix the parking lot flooding issues at the Dumas House Retirement Complex."

Officials said they have spent upwards of $50,000 over the past year to combat the flooding situation. They added they have met with engineering firms to assess the slow drainage and will continue to ask neighbors to clean their drains regularly.

"Rest assured that the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging will continue to pursue every avenue to rectify the situation as quickly as possible," stated Tasha Clark-Amar, CEO of EBRCOA.

The organization said based on estimates, it may cost at least $250,000 to rebuild the entire parking lot.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.