Pascagoula leaders work to fix flooding woes in neighborhoods

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Hurricane season is here and a lot of people are bracing for torrential rains and severe flooding. The City of Pascagoula has been working on ways to mitigate the headache in several neighborhoods. But city officials said it won't be an easy fix.

Many residents in Briarwood subdivision said you can guarantee it will flood every time there is a heavy rainfall or a hurricane.

"I have lost quite a bit; my furniture, clothes, pictures, books. I lost all that," Pascagoula resident Margie Payton said.

"The major feature here is its low lying area. I think a few mitigation measures were not taken years ago," Pascagoula City Manager Joe Huffman said.

"What we've have seen since Katrina is a great number of drainage projects, road projects, economic development projects that could all play a piece of the problem and solution," Pascagoula City Engineer Jaci Turner said.

The city is now researching different strategies to hopefully provide relief for citizens.

"We're looking and trying to reverse the floor water in some areas to pipe the water under the highway," Huffman said.

"So what we're trying to do is look at the entire drainage basin systemically and make sure we get a good understanding of every piece of the puzzle. Make sure to get a good understanding of what could've made it worse and what opportunities there are to make it better. From there, we can try to find ways to find ways to fund it and get improvements done," the city engineer said.

The city's operations manager assures the public works team is also doing its part to help prevent flooding woes during hurricane season.

"We have a five man crew that's all they do is ditch cleaning, mowing ditches. We also have an additional three man crew that strictly does drainage repairs, covert repairs, underground drainage system repairs on a daily basis," Operations Manager Steve Mitchell said.

The city officials admit there is no quick fix, and whatever improvements are needed they will be costly.

"We are not sure we have all the answers right now; we're just trying to get the questions. We are trying to make sure we're not missing any opportunity to help these people," Huffman said.

City officials said they are still in the process of gathering data on the flooding problem. Once the analysis is finished, the city plans to meet with residents in the affected areas. No date has been set for the meeting.

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