Last August's flood broke the hearts and homes of many in the Baton Rouge area. But some of the water was once stored in our local rivers and wetlands. Reckless development has pushed that water onto homes that haven't flooded before.
Most homes flooded in the city of Central. And in the past year, Central has a seen 3 large flood events. These intense flood events show that current drainage is inadequate. So new developments should at least follow Central's master plan. The city wrote the master plan to ensure that the drainage system would work. But some developments are so careless that they build right into water-storing wetlands.
This squeezes water out of wetland forests and onto older homes.
For that reason Central residents have opposed The Lakes at Woodland Grove. This development does not follow the city’s Master Plan, which limits flood risks. It would even destroy 8 acres of water-storing wetlands within Central. This would displace at least 8 million gallons of water which floods the drainage system.
Developments are only required to build to a "ten-year" rain, a rain that has a 10% chance of falling in any year. Once the water leaves the property, it's someone else's problem. The drainage network must deal with large rains but rising rivers as well. It can't, and homes flood.
Building slabs in wetlands adds pressure on an overburdened drainage system. This endangers older neighborhoods. Who benefits from these projects? Developers. These bad neighbors choose profits over the safety of the community. Under developer influence, Central's city council approved the Lakes project in spite of large opposition from residents.
The government must protect residents from undue harm. Central's council must seriously consider dangers from reckless developments on their neighbors.
Without a new drainage study, Central's council cannot know where the water will go. Reckless development must stop until Central completes a new drainage study.
Initial vote against http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_e8539922-08d0-11e7-b...
Scott Eustis is GRN's Coastal Wetland Specialist. Maya Welch is GRN's Water Resources Analyst.