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Parish officials confidant drainage improvements will help keep you dry during Nicholas

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:47 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The clearing of drains and ditches will help East Baton Rouge’s drainage system keep you dry. That is the message from Asst. Chief Admin. Officer Kelvin Hill Tuesday.

Since June, public works crews have cleared 1,441 drain boxes out of the 2400 it hopes to ultimately complete by the end of 2021.

It has also cleared 56,000 linear feet of drainage pipes, clearing millions of pounds of mud and debris from the drainage system, according to a spokesperson from the Mayor-President’s office.

Hill said the improvements add to the capacity for storm water, saying it should help keep residents relatively dry as heavy rains from Nicholas make their way into the parish this week.

“All we’ve done is free up the capacity that was restricted from sediment so it shouldn’t put an extra load or burden on the conveying system,” Hill said. “The conveying system is designed to handle that and we expect to handle it just fine.”

Still the improvements for some are not enough.

Before Nicholas made its way into Louisiana, Jennifer Monk’s house saw a deluge of rain, leaving her Kennilworth home on an island.

“My daughter and I were freaking out. All we could do was pray, honestly,” Monk said.

While the water did not make it inside this time, the house did flood in May. Monk said the house had 18 inches of water inside leaving a damaged home that still has not been completely repaired.

Now the family is picking up what is left in the home, in hopes if the water does come in that they can save it.

“Definitely nervous,” she said. “I mean at the same time there’s nothing I can do about it other than just plan.”

She said the drain in her back yard backs up and cannot handle the water come from her neighborhood. She wants the parish to do more in making sure people like her do not flood again.

“I want someone to do something, yeah,” she said. “I want the city to do something. I feel like it’s their job.”

Hill said Monk’s neighborhood was overwhelmed by the heavy rains Monday night and that the drains are largely cleared. Still, he warns anyone who has flooded before to prepare for the heavy rains to come.

“If you know you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding, get your sandbags, prepare your property, lift things up to high levels that you don’t want damaged,” Hill said. “If you do those thing and take those precautions it will minimize the impact of the rain event.”

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