BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council gave the green light Wednesday, Sept. 23 for the five tributary project to begin soon.
The $255 million project aims to reduce flooding throughout the parish by cleaning out 66 miles of channels.
“It’s pretty deep but when it rains, the water rises up pretty quick,” said Mitchell Pea of Baton Rouge.
Pea lives on Major Oak Drive, his house sits on the edge of Jones Creek.
“This is my home, and I’ve been here about 11 years now,” said Pea.
His home flooded back in 2016, and he says his family member’s cars were completely lost.
“And when we opened the front door it was like a lake outside. And in a matter of maybe 15 minutes, we were walking in water,” said Pea.
Those same fears from 2016 linger with him, every time a drop of rain falls from the sky.
“It’s a scary feeling because that water rises up in that creek pretty quick, and when it rains real bad, it rises up in the road also,” said Pea.
But now help could be on the way. As the Metro Council approved the Department of Public Works to basically start work soon on the five tributaries project.
“We have talked about this project for some time, actually since 1997,” said Fred Raiford, Director of Transportation and Development of EBR Parish.
But now with federal dollars secured, the project will basically cleanout and increase drainage capacity for huge bodies of water in the parish, so the water can flow better.
The project includes Bayou Fountain, Wards Creek, Jones Creek, Beaver Bayou, and Blackwater Bayou.
These tributaries drain three-quarters of East Baton Rouge Parish.
They ultimately end up into Amite River or the Comite River, which ultimately drains then down to Ascension Parish. It is critical from our standpoint to get these things clean, where they function the way they are supposed too," said Raiford.
Which is something Pea would greatly appreciate for his home and neighborhood.
“I’m hoping they come up with some sort of solution to make this water drain real quick because it’s a scary feeling,” said Pea.
“It may be not in your backyard, but ultimately that ditch that runs out of your backyard is going to drain into one of these 5 channels, there’s no question about that,” said Raiford.
Once bids are approved, Raiford says they hope to start work on most of these projects in February in 2021.
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