Brian Coleman stood outside his house in Centurion Place off O'Neal Lane where he's stacked ruined drywall and flooring and other detritus soaked by last summer's flood.
Nearly a year after the disaster, homeowners are still digging out, and parish crews continue to collect such waterlogged debris.
"I've got to get my house back," Coleman said.
The homeowner said he would have liked to have done the demolition work earlier, but he's been locked in a dispute with his mortgage lender to prove he qualifies for his flood insurance payout and that he'll spend the funds to rebuild.
"We've been fighting the bank," Coleman remarked.
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Next door, Trang Vo also has put debris on the curb for pick-up. Rebuilding has been a tough process. She's got a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer on her property now but had been living with her brother in Ascension Parish after the flood, meaning she had to commute any time she wanted to do work on her home.
Last summer's flood was so destructive that East Baton Rouge Parish authorities have been granted several extensions so the parish can continue receiving federal assistance with clean-up efforts.
The city-parish will keep sending debris crews out to residences through mid-August, right up to the anniversary of the flood.
Crews were sweeping neighborhoods on the O'Neal Lane corridor Wednesday.
Ben Bankston, regional manager at parish consulting firm DRC, said stories like Coleman's are common. Property owners want to wait until they're on firm financial ground with their insurance companies before embarking on big rebuilding projects.
There is still flood debris, and it's all over the parish, not limited to any particular area, environmental services director William Daniel said.
"People are coming back to their homes at different times," he said.
While the parish will not receive federal reimbursements for collecting construction waste, Daniel said, some contractors "don't honor their obligations" and try to put the city on the hook for collecting their material.
As he drove past appliance boxes and other reconstruction garbage, Bankston said debris crews wouldn't pick up that trash. But he acknowledged that some of it might wind up being collected if it's mixed in with flood debris.
In East Baton Rouge Parish alone, contractors have picked up nearly 2 million square yards of debris, Bankston said. Teams collected about 50,000 square yards in a single day at their debris-hauling peak right after the storm, he continued.
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Yet, even after several passes of the city and unincorporated areas of the parish, requests for pick-up continue to pour in.
City-parish wastewater engineer Adam Smith said crews are still responding to locations identified by residents and flagged by contractors who scout neighborhoods looking for problem areas.
They have been greatly aided by geographic information system technology, Bankston said. GIS data allows crews to map areas with debris and digitally log each collection they make, he said.
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"It's all about the data. ... We could see where every single pile was. It saves a lot of time," Bankston said.
He expects that most of the flood debris will be collected by the time the city-parish concludes its final pass, which will last through Aug. 11. Residents who have eligible waste may contact the city for collection by calling (225) 389-4865.