D'Iberville flooding sparks a quick response from city hall

By Brad Kessie - bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - D'Iberville leaders have their fingers crossed.  They're trying to put band-aids on the worst flooding areas as fast as they can.  But they realize a repeat of Saturday's deluge will soak parts of their city again.

Before it started raining , D'Iberville's city manager met with engineers about six trouble spots in the city.  They discussed ways to prevent the next downpour from wreaking havoc on the north side of the bay.

A babbling brook behind Walt Atkinson's house on Dina Drive looks so peaceful now.  However, on Saturday, "It got scary," he remembered

Atkinson watched water pour out of the backyard ditch, and inch closer and closer to his house.

"It was coming all the way up here, and all the way up to my door. But it didn't quite go in," he said.

Ditches have become neighborhood nuisances in D'Iberville.  That's why public works crews keep shoveling weeds away from drainage culverts.

Al Gombos is the city's public works director. He said clearing culverts is critical because "what it will do is move the water quicker."

Before checking on the progress of his culvert crew, Gombos and Richard Rose met with engineers and building officials.  With everybody gathered around Rose's desk, the D'Iberville City Manager asked a rather simple question. "How do you all want to attack this problem?"

The team of experts invited to city hall spent the morning discussing flood prevention solutions that involve D'Iberville and Harrison County.

"We'll never be able to stop all flooding, as much as we'd like to do that on heavy rains or hurricanes or storms such as that," admitted Rose. "But we've got to be able to mitigate as much as we possibly can."

After the meeting, Gombos went over to Dina Drive and talked with Mr. Atkinson about the flooding dilemma.

A puddle in front of Atkinson's mailbox was all that remained from his Saturday morning nightmare.  However, just three houses away, sandbags still blocked a neighbor's front entrance.  And the owner says she has no plans of removing the bags anytime soon.

Yet, both city and county engineers say the bags should no longer be necessary.  They believe that if they can get in and dig out the ditch behind these homes, flooding on Dina Drive should no longer be a problem.

T.J. Moran represented Harrison County at the meeting with Rose, and the tour of the flood prone areas.

"I believe the county working with the city of D'Iberville can come up with a possible solution," Moran said, "hopefully something to alleviate some of this until we can come up with a permanent solution."

Atkinson liked the approach he heard. "By fixing that ditch out there, I think they can help us," he said.

Besides Dina Drive, other flooding trouble spots in D'Iberville are on Gorenflo, Lamey Bridge, Ginger Drive and at the Arbor View apartments.  Properties in each of those areas took on water during the Saturday storm.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.