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East Baton Rouge Parish: At least 693 homes damaged by flooding, debris removal could take weeks to begin

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 6:11 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Debris removal in East Baton Rouge Parish could take several weeks to begin, as officials say they are awaiting federal disaster money to help pay the costs of the parish’s Emergency Debris Removal program.

Heaping piles of debris now line neighborhoods that were inundated with floodwaters last week. Homeowners have started gutting houses and removing any damaged items, leaving them on the streets, creating what neighbors say are unsafe conditions for children and leaving a stench as the wet debris starts to mold and mildew.

“It’s a reminder,” said Karen Aubert. “You walk outside and you want to cry again. So please, just get it off my property, please.”

A representative with the mayor-president’s office said the parish is navigating a series of complex red tape to secure the funding. It is relying on information collected from a Damage Assessment Survey to solidify its need for the federal dollars, asking anyone who received property damage from the storm to complete the survey.

If the parish does not receive the funding, the mayor’s office indicates it will pay for cleanup to begin but for the people who already have large piles of debris outside their homes, cleanup by the parish should have already begun.

“They knew we were flooded, they knew people were pulling it out the next morning, they should’ve had trucks running the next day,” said Bobbie Dedon.

If residents do not want to wait for the parish to clean up the debris, EBR residents can haul their debris to the Ronaldson Field Landfill. Right now, residents can make unlimited trips.

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