Storm Turns Backyard Into Lake - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/1/03

Storm Turns Backyard Into Lake

"My sheds are full of water. I'm losin' everything all the time," says Rick Willis as he waded through  knee high water in his neighbor's backyard. 

But Willis's own yard is just as waterlogged. 

"That's deep and that's only in one day," he says.  

For some reason the water just sits in the yards and takes two to three days to drain. 

"The city came out here and dug a big ole sewer line back here to help drain this water out and now they can't find it."

Willis says the flooding problem began about five years ago and now he always dreads hearing that rain is on the way. 

"I have to make sure everything's up off the ground. See, I'm self employed, and I have to take off work and I work outta town and I have to be here to make sure everything's safe around the house. Very frustrating cause it takes hours and hours to put everything up, make sure everything's okay."

Willis says he turned to us only after he called the city numerous times asking for help and got nowhere. He says he's even thinking about selling his house, but he doesn't want to be driven out of the home that he bought 20 years ago.

"I'm just about tired of this. I just don't think, I think the city should fix it though."  

According to Biloxi's public works director, the city is working to do that.

Public Works Director Richard Sullivan says, "We have looked at this and what we plan to do is have an engineering firm get some elevation information. It might also require getting easements from the owners to give the city access to the property. "  

However, Sullivan says there is no time frame to get rid of the standing water in Willis's yard. Biloxi Ward One Council member George Lawrence says he too knows about the backyard flooding on Cedar Street. He says he doesn't blame Willis for being frustrated, and that the city is working to solve the problem.

byMarcia Hill

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