NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Overgrown lots can be tough on the eyes, but for those suffering from allergies they can literally make eyes water burn and itch.
In the greater New Orleans area, such overgrown lots are not hard to find, and with the arrival spring, also comes weeds, tall grass and plenty of pollen.
"It's been a really bad allergy season. Everybody is sneezing, especially my grand-kids. My daughter is home right now sick," said Sherry Bowers of Metairie.
When growth gets out of control like it did at a corner near City Park, we expect to see some maintenance in the form of mowing and cutting. But on some private and public patches, that's not always the case, and it's those overgrown lots that can contribute to the misery that is allergy season.
"If the weeds are cut down, then all that pollen that goes flying and is really terrible would be kept down. It would definitely help a lot," said Nancy Lagarde of Metairie.
Along stretches of Earhart Expressway drivers may notice the overgrown state of the shoulders there.
A spokesperson with the state Department of Transportation and Development, which is responsible for maintaining the expressway, said there are particular stretches that are left to grow. The spokesperson said crews allow the wildflowers to grow and pollinate to enhance the "aesthetics" along the expressway.
She added that trees, rather than weeds and grass, are contributing more to the pollen count.
But, for some residents and taxpayers, the growth needs to be cut to help the aesthetics and allergies.
"They can cut it, and keep it maintained and that way it will help," said Sherry Bowers.
The DOTD plans to mow along Earhart Expressway within two weeks, but on a windy day like Thursday, any form of relief couldn't come sooner.