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BREC officials working to improve flood plans at parks

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 4:16 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - BREC officials say they’re currently improving its park flood plans to keep water out of folks’ homes.

“Water, rain water, storm water is a part of lives here and we need to really work with it as best as possible,” says Reed Richard who is BREC’s assistant superintendent of system planning. The 2016 flood destroyed Howell Park, BREC is currently rebuilding the park and working on updating it’s flood prevention plan. “Well basically, our parish was pretty devastated by the flood of 2016. We felt as conservationists as one of our strongest ethics, and we have 660 acres of park land. That acreage can really leverage to increase storing more storm water,” adds Richard.

Many of BREC’s parks retained billions of gallons of water during the flood, meaning more water in the park and less in people’s homes. BREC wants to extend that protection by adding more vegetation like no grow zones and rain gardens. Also, reconstruct park lands to slope downward or outward, and then expand the lakes so they can hold more water. “Slow down the water that’s going through these major drainage ways. That is one of the problems that is one of the things that causes flooding is just the rapid conveyance of stormwater through pipes and through concrete-lined drainage canals,” explains Richard.

Richard calls it green infrastructure that they can control, so they don’t have to rely solely on one system to prevent flooding in the capital region.

Howell Park is already under construction and is supposed to be finished sometime next year. The first phase of Airline Highway Park and Greenwood Park will be finished by 2024.

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