Just last month she, like many in East Baton Rouge Parish, watched helplessly as streets were swallowed up and notorious problem spots went under. While areas of the city like the Acadian underpass and Burbank at Nicholson near LSU took on water, it is the unusual places like along Government Street that made the pop up storm look like the end of days.
Two years ago, East Baton Rouge Parish was awarded $112 million in flood mitigation dollars from FEMA. After submitting a list of projects, the parish would be able to cash in on the money and kick off those measures designed to keep water out of your home. According to the mayor’s office of homeland security, only a handful of the projects they request have been approved but more approvals are expected. Kyle Huffstickler, director for the department of maintenance, calls the process a marathon, not a sprint.
“We’ve got to keep these systems open and clear because that’s where the water’s trying to get to from the subdivision," said Huffstickler. "Some of those roadside ditches that need to be cleaned, yes, we’re going to get to them as quick as possible but those are some of the things that get pushed off because we’ve got to get some of these other issues resolved first.”
Tackling flooding long-term though he tells WAFB's Scottie Hunter is something that does not just fall on his team. Huffstickler says he cannot count the amount of times crews run across clogged culverts, trash and other debris in the canals and ditches. While they work to keep things clear, he says they could also use help from area residents.