Water seeps into house, DPW short on workers
BATON ROUGE - Weather conditions in the last couple of days have some homeowners worried.
Sharon Bell contacted 2 On Your Side after her home started taking on water Thursday. She says it's the third time it's happened since she moved into the house off O'Neal Lane after Hurricane Katrina. She bought it, fixed it up, and then was hit by the August 2016 flood.
Water came into her home again in December 2018 and again on Thursday.
"I put a lot of hard work into this house," she said.
The water is coming into her bedroom, creeping through her new walls, baseboards, and onto her new floors. She's invested in a fan, a good mop, and some pumps to keep the water away from her foundation.
Bell tells 2 On Your Side she's been worried about a ditch that flows behind her house. She started calling the City-Parish about it in February. Another phone call Thursday got some attention and DPW came out to take a look. Even then, she didn't receive the answer she was looking for.
"He said that they're low on workers that they've got a backup, six years," she said.
Bell says DPW told her someone would come by to cut the grass in the ditch, but she fears the problem is much bigger than grass.
"Mowing the grass is not the problem, I'm sorry that they're short of workers," said Bell. "There's a major problem and we got to take care of it and I'm sorry that I got to get on public TV to get it done but I don't know what else to do."
Knowing all the water flowing behind her property has to go somewhere, she says it should be going anywhere but inside her house.
Friday, Bell filed a claim with her insurance and she's hoping a crew addresses her drainage concerns soon.
The City-Parish was busy taking care of storm-related activity Friday but did confirm there is and has been a DPW crew shortage. It says there are about 200 vacancies across all the Department of Public Works or about 20-percent of vacancies that are in the allocated funded positions.