Homeowner losing property due to eroding bayou, fears pool could be next

BATON ROUGE – A woman has been waiting nearly a year for the city-parish to respond to her eroding yard. Krystle Woods says she’s already lost her fence and is getting tired of waiting for direction.

Woods’ home backs up to Jacks Bayou off of Stumberg Lane and Coursey Boulevard. In May 2021, Woods first noticed a portion of her fence was slowly sinking away. Woods contacted 2 On Your Side to get answers about the next steps to save her land.

The initial thing that attracted Woods to her Baton Rouge home is the backyard.

“I have lots of yard, which is one of the main reasons why I bought the home,” she said.

There’s a big yard, a swing set, and a pool. But ever since land started to fall into the bayou behind her house, her yard has been shrinking. Woods says she reached out to the city-parish about it in May and someone came out to take a look. They installed orange fencing that Woods says she’s been looking at for almost a year.

“And I have not since heard from anyone,” she said.

In that time, most of Woods’ rear fence has fallen into the bayou. A utility box appears to be next. The damage is affecting the majority of her backyard where her kids and neighbors play.

“I just want to make sure that we’re safe,” she said. “It would be a shame that someone would lose their life because of the instability of our lawns.”

Woods says she keeps a close watch on the kids but can’t use her property, like the pool, the way she wants to.

Since someone initially came out, Woods says she’s called the city-parish for a follow-up at least five times. Each time she says she can’t get a solid answer about what’s next.

“You know, we pay our officials to do their jobs and it’s not happening within a timely fashion,” she said.

With more rain inevitable, Woods fears the issue will only get worse if it is not taken care of soon.

“I don’t want to be a casualty of their lack of maintenance.”

This week, 2 On Your Side contacted the city-parish about this and someone went out to check on the damage. The issue was found to be bank erosion, not a cave-in. The service request will be addressed by DPW, but no specific timeline has been provided. Off-road drainage work is typically done during dry periods, when heavy equipment can operate.

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