Baton Rouge crews identifying flood-prone spots ahead of severe weather

DPW making last minute preps before severe weather Saturday

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Crews were out all day Friday prepping for severe weather.

“We went into a lot of our areas to get our chainsaws sharpened up because we do believe it’s going to be a little more wind damage at this point,” said Fred Raiford, East Baton Rouge Parish transportation and drainage director.

Crews prepare chain saws to remove tree debris caused by strong winds.
Crews prepare chain saws to remove tree debris caused by strong winds. (Source: WAFB)

Raiford says crews also spent the day vacuuming out some areas with drainage issues in case of heavy rains.

"When we go through these areas, we want to be sure because they’re known to have flooding conditions, so we want to eliminate that as much as possible,” said Raiford.

Kyle Huffstickler, department of maintenance supervisor, says crews are out daily ensuring drainage ditches are properly cleaned. He says they’re working hard to address 311 calls prior to bad weather.

Baton Rouge crews identifying flood-prone spots ahead of severe weather

“We get a lot of trash and debris that gets washed into our drainage systems, leaves that can cause blockage or slow the flow of water,” said Huffstickler.

Crews will be on standby to address any weather related issues, but Raiford says he’s hopeful homeowners will do their part to help.

“We certainly look for citizens to get involved, like going clean up, but we’re going to be ready to go and do what we have to do regardless,” said Huffstickler.

All of southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi will be under an Enhanced Risk for severe weather Saturday morning into early afternoon. Very strong winds will be the primary threat, followed by the possibility of a couple of strong tornadoes. The threat will be over by Saturday afternoon.

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