Baker subdivision plagued with drainage problems
BAKER - Shortly after moving into his home in the Chemin Place subdivision three years ago, Derrick Smith says his dream of home ownership quickly became a nightmare.
"When I moved over here, it was a quiet neighborhood. I thought 'Hey I have my first house, I'm going to love it.' It has not been that," said Smith. "You can give us a good 45 minutes, 30 minutes of good rain, and I'll have water flowing through my front yard," he continued.
The problem is not only in the front of his home, but also in the back of his home.
Smith's neighbor, Bridget Washington, has lived there since 2005 as one of the first homes built in the subdivision, and she's been literally losing her property.
"The canal on the back is actually corroding and it's getting closer and closer to my property," she said. "I don't have a backyard."
The city used asphalt patches to slow that corrosion near the canal, and officials say Baker can only afford solutions to slow down the problem.
"In a whole, that subdivision is just built wrong, so all that water just flows that way," Mayor Darnell Waites said. "That just fell on me, but I'm the boss now and we'll do our best to try to fix it for him."
According to Mayor Waites, officials know that the neighborhood was built incorrectly, which is likely causing these problems.
"We're going to put that other drain in there and try to fix it. There's other things that need to be done that's way beyond us," he said.
Despite what the city says they are doing, the people in the neighborhood just want a real solution.
"I just want them to actually take care of the problem. I can't invest in my house because I don't know what's going to happen,” said Washington.
Waites explained that the city has submitted a flood mitigation proposal for federal funding, but there is no timeline on getting that money.
"I don't control the flood mitigation money. That's federal funds that comes in. We submitted it," said Waites.
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