BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Earlier this week Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the latest in flood mitigation but some residents in the Siegen Lane area worry it won’t be enough to save their homes.
The mayor announced the widening of Ward Creek at Siegen to reduce the backup of water. The Meadowlane subdivision residents said the water levels have been growing for years and they have their own ideas of why it’s happening.
For 35 years, Judy Collins has lived in the Meadowlane neighborhood. This is now the second time she’s had to clean up her home after flooding.
“At first we thought it was a one-time thing because it was not really expected but here we are again five years later and it’s happened even deeper than it was before,” Collins said.
It is costing her as much as it cost to buy the house to now fix it. With the proposed widening of Ward Creek, it will lower the water levels by an estimated two feet. That is the exact amount she had in her home in May, which was a few inches higher than she had in 2016 — her home doesn’t completely fall within a flood plain.
“It was spotty before. One time they came through and they said just the very corner of your property is in the line and then the next time it wasn’t in it at all. So each time is a little different,” Collins said.
Her neighbors believe more of the creek needs to be cleared farther down. They also think that the rapid development in the Siegen area has led to water runoff flooding into the surrounding neighborhoods.
“I’d like both things to be looked at and some solution offered for our neighborhood because we are just three little streets and we get forgotten about,” Collins said.
Collins hopes to share her concerns at the next town hall the city hosts. In her announcement, Mayor-President Broome urged people to understand the city is working to help reduce the flooding in Baton Rouge.
The Ward Creek widening project is funded through FEMA and will clear out a choke point on the creek under the Siegen bridge. Other neighborhoods in the area flooded for the first time in May and this should help prevent it in the future. Construction on that project is set to being late next year.