BR.hotelflood0190.adv bf.jpg

Flooded home, left, with FEMA trailer, right, in waiting next to it belonging to Marilyn Arceneaux who talks about the floods Friday Nov. 18, 2016. She lives in the Supreme Inn in Gonzales and has been since shortly after the flood. Arceneaux is waiting on her trailer to be ready.

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG

FEMA says its close to making a decision on a planned 64-unit trailer park on South Choctaw Drive and Larkswood Drive to house flood victims — a site that's drawn opposition from a Metro Council member and nearby residents.  

Kurt Pickering, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Association, confirmed that the location, which backs up to the Rushmore subdivision, is "under consideration." However, he said, it isn't a done deal.

Residents living near the planned site have voiced concerns over the additional traffic congestion and added stresses on existing infrastructure that a trailer park would bring to the area.

"We are aware of those concerns," Pickering said. "We do expect a decision very soon."

East Baton Rouge Parish District 4 Metro Councilman Scott Wilson said Thursday he is fighting to halt the planned trailer park, which would sit next to a subdivision that flooded during August's unprecedented flooding.

Wilson said he already has met once with city, state and federal officials and will do so again next week.

"I made it clear I didn't want it and the residents didn't want it," he said. "Hopefully that site will not be approved."

Wilson, who expressed disappointment that he was not contacted by officials who are planning the site, said FEMA needs to look harder at existing commercial trailer parks before dropping a new trailer park next to a subdivision impacted by the flooding.

"Those people are trying to recover themselves," he noted. "They're very unhappy with it."

FEMA trailer parks are expected to house as many as 600 people in the parish. The unprecedented flooding in August displaced thousands of residents.

FEMA representatives had asked for broad authority to set up trailer parks anywhere in Baton Rouge or unincorporated areas of East Baton Rouge Parish. The council rejected the request that it lift certain ordinances parishwide to accommodate the parks.

In mid-October, the council approved trailer parks in certain areas but passed on some sites around Scotlandville and elsewhere after a plea from council members representing north Baton Rouge who said public resources there already are overtaxed. They also pointed out that their districts are taking in the flood debris.

FEMA-created trailer parks are meant to be a last resort for people whose homes experienced extreme damage and who cannot find a suitable rental property or can't move into an existing park.

The agency prefers that flood victims take part in the Shelter at Home or rental assistance programs.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.