Solving drainage problems top priority for Jackson Co. officials

By Patrice Clark– bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A group of Jackson County officials say faulty drainage is a major problem they're facing in the county. Several residents are complaining antiquated systems and dirty ditches are causing a wet mess in neighborhoods.

"This drainage ditch seems to be filling up with silt," resident Quenton McBride said as he stood over his ditch.

When more mud and water builds up, the mess usually overflows in McBride's backyard. He says the drainage needs to be fixed on Shelby Lane.

"After the rain it will drain a lot quicker and cuts down on the erosion," McBride said.

Supervisor John McKay represents the area. He gets call after call from constituents about water backing up and spilling over from old gutters.

"When it rains, yes, we get an awful lot of complaints," McKay said. "It floods some properties, which is bad. It also affects each one of our roads with the road shoulders caving in creating potholes. When water doesn't flow properly, it creates any number of problems."

Road manager Joe O'Neal has also heard a bunch of complaints, and he says new development is also to blame for the drainage headache.

"As development happens, ditches silt in. You have trucks and equipment, infrastructure, water and sewer coming in and that causes erosion problem."

The county spent more than $3 Million for crews to build culverts, water filters and replace drain pipes. There's also a ditch cleanup crew. Still, McKay and O'Neal feel extra funding and hands would help out a lot.

"There is only so much money and so many resources to go around in any given year, "O'Neal said.

"It takes a lot of manpower and a lot of equipment, and it very costly to maintain all this," McKay.

McKay knows proper maintenance now will prevent future drainage woes.

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