Forest Heights community plagued with flooding - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Forest Heights community plagued with flooding

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Forest Heights residents say commercial pumps are needed to rid the area of its flooding woes. Forest Heights residents say commercial pumps are needed to rid the area of its flooding woes.
Some neighbors were trapped in their homes and say the levees reinforced after Hurricane Katrina failed. Some neighbors were trapped in their homes and say the levees reinforced after Hurricane Katrina failed.
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The streets on Holly Circle and Ohio Avenue in the Forest Heights community are dry and debris free, a complete turnaround from the mess that Hurricane Isaac left behind just days ago.

Some neighbors were trapped in their homes and say the levees reinforced after Hurricane Katrina failed.

"I just don't see where it works," said Forest Heights resident Wanda Scott. "Actually, this time we had more problems since its been there. I mean, a lot of people say this is a flood area, but we've never had it this bad."

Gulfport City Councilwoman Ella Holems-Hines said the Turkey Creek Levee System is only in Phase 1, which is the 1968 standard. It was funded with a million dollar grant secured by National Conservation Resources.  Although that grant funded levee improvements, it did not pay for pumps needed when the streets flood, and the City of Gulfport just doesn't have the money to pay for them.

"We're talking about $14.9 million that we need to clear Congress for this to happen with Phase 2 to make our residents safe," said Hines.

Commercial pumps were brought in last week to clear the flood waters, and it worked in a matter of hours. Councilwoman Hines said those pumps should have been available on day one.

She said it's time to learn from these mistakes and move forward to reach Phase 2 of the levee system, which she does not believe is a City of Gulfport problem, but rather a Harrison County problem.

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