Comite River Diversion Canal

For 17 years, residents in parts of East Baton Rouge, Ascension and Livingston parishes have been paying a local tax to help fund construction of the Comite River Diversion Canal, designed to lower the flood risk of nearby homeowners. Then in 2016, record flooding hit the region — causing billions in damage. The incident only ignited the demand for answers from frustrated taxpayers.

Since rainfall blanketed southeast Louisiana in August 2016, residents have wondered how the state can protect its people from future floods. Answering that question begins with understanding the geography we live in.

Fighting the Flood: One Year Later

Aug 11, 2017
Kirsten Roed

It began one year ago tonight.

“I don’t ever remember going an entire day where it didn’t at least stop raining for a little while,” state climatologist Barry Keim said, wonderingly. “It rained all night long. It rained every minute of the day. We had 32 straight continuous hours of rainfall.”

Hardest hit was the Livingston Parish town of Watson, home to state Representative Valarie Hodges.

Diverting Future Floods (and Possibly Funds?)

Jan 26, 2017
courtesy LA DOTD

After last August’s floods, many claimed the Comite River Diversion Canal would have prevented much of the damage.

“Most people would not have flooded, but this traumatic event happened because of ineffectiveness,” says Denham Springs Representative Valarie Hodges.