Major drainage project now underway in Moss Point

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - For years, the city of Moss Point has been plagued by poor drainage that has damaged hundreds of homes. Flooding occurred even during moderate rainfalls. But that's about to change, thanks to some help from the Corps of Engineers.

City and county leaders spent Wednesday morning at a groundbreaking for the nearly $3 million project.

"Three point two miles of drainage way will have restored capacity by the removal, through this project, of over 25,000 cubic yards of material and other debris," said Thomas Smith, with the Corps of Engineers.

As officials were giving speeches about the project, workers were already busy clearing a huge drainage canal that runs off Jefferson Street. When the work is done, neighborhoods will be more safe and secure, according to Mayor Aneice Liddell.

"When we have heavy rains or another flood, such as Katrina, that water would move out of the city quickly and hopefully reduce the damages to homes," Liddell said.

In addition to the public safety aspect that this drainage project will provide, less flooding into fewer homes, it also provides an intangible result: the potential for economic development.

"A good drainage system is always important because locations are a determining factor where businesses and companies are going to locate," said State Representative Billy Broomfield. "If they locate in an area where there is poor drainage, it defeats the purpose of them being here."

The alderman who represents this area of the city, Ruby Hill, could hardly contain her glee.

"This is going to be a great accomplishment for our area, great movement that we'll no longer see the flooded streets anymore," Hill said.  "It's all good. It's going to be great."

What's also good is the feeling that the homes of people who live here will be high and dry for years to come.

The work is being done in several phases, involving more than a dozen different areas. The project should be complete in about a year.

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