Drainage woes near OS High will soon be over

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The pounding of hanners and crowbars is music to the ears of people who live near the Ocean Springs High School. Flooding is a common occurrence in heavy rain. The small drainage ditches can't handle the load.

But this project will change that. Huge culverts are being installed and the ditches are lined with rocks to prevent erosion.

This kind of work doesn't come cheap. Andre Kaufman is the Ocean Springs Public Works Director and he said the total project will cost roughly $450,000 to $500,000.

"It will handle the drainage problems or issues for about 400 homes and two schools," Kaufman said. "We have both the high school and Oak Park that are going to get the benefit of this drainage."

When this part of the project is complete, work will begin to enlarge drainage ditches that run next to the high school.

Even after days of no rain, puddles can still be found in the parking lot. As drainage projects go, this is a major undertaking.

"Obviously, there's a lot of clearing and engineering involved. Rock will be used so it does not wash out in the future and the depths of the pipes crossing these people's driveway and stuff like that so it's a fairly complicated job," Roy said.

While the people who live in this area of the city are relieved that this drainage program is going to alleviate street flooding in their neighborhoods during heavy rains, they're also relieved it's going to alleviate something they said is even more important.

"It's a safety issue because water stands in the ditch here, maybe two or three feet. And small children can play in there and who knows what would happen to them," homeowner, Joe Cruso  said. "So God bless the city for getting this done. Long time coming."

When this project and others are completed by the end of next year, the city will have spent more than $6 million on drainage improvements in three years.

That money comes from the city's general fund, a bond issue, and several grants obtained by the city.

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