JR Ball: Flooding will remain a way of life in Baton Rouge


    The Capital Region will never solve its long-standing and ever-worsening drainage and flood problems, no matter how many billions in federal tax dollars Rep. Garret Graves and Louisiana’s congressional delegation hurl our way, writes Business Report Executive Editor JR Ball in his new opinion piece

    The entire region, from parish presidents on down, has declared an ardent desire to turn the tide on these problems, but no one wants to do the things that would actually make a difference, Ball writes. 

    For one, many area residents want to live in suburban areas, which happen to be in the floodplain. Federal flood insurance subsidies make it easier to live there, too. Developers want to build in these parts of the Capital Region because of the high profit margins on the cheaper, but soggier, land. And no one has stepped up to manage the upkeep of the ditches and retention ponds we’ve built to help keep the waters at bay in low-lying neighborhoods. 

    Compounding the disaster waiting to happen whenever the next supersoaker or worse event hits is 1) it rains a lot here, 2) getting the resulting stormwater from where we don’t want it to where we do is done via a parishwide maze of drainage canals, lakes, streams, and bayous and 3) we’ve got a trash problem—compounded by garbage trucks that spill as much as they haul—that’s semi-masked because the frequent rainwater carries it out of immediate sight.

    Honestly, there’s not much hope, Ball writes. Read his full column here. Send comments to editor@businessreport.com