PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Forecasters are predicting a wet weekend, but they said it's unclear just how much rain the coast will receive. Pascagoula wants to make sure that city is ready for whatever comes.
All this week additional crews have been dedicated to go out looking for possible trouble spots in the drainage system. Officials said this work is intended to minimize flooding and keep rising water out of homes.
Pascagoula officials said the terrain in that city lends itself to flooding problems. So their strategy to combat that is to have crew dedicated solely to maintaining ditches.
"We know throughout Pascagoula we're dealing with fairly flat land," Pascagoula Operations Manager Stephen Mitchell said. "So trying to make flat land drain is always a challenge. If you don't have a good network of storm sewers and ditches to handle the rainwater, then you'll see it pond in a lot of areas."
With heavy rain possibly on the way, officials said crews were brought in to clear the leaves and debris from culverts and catch basins.
"Once the culverts back up, then water is not able to drain from the area. What you'll see is a build up of water just like putting a stopper in a bathtub," said Mitchell. "It will fill up with water and then your heavy street flooding. We all know that in the heavy rains, we're going to end up with minor street flooding. But our biggest issue that we are concerned with is flooding in homes."
Some residents in the flood prone neighborhood surrounding King Avenue said they can see progress from Pascagoula's proactive approach.
"I have no qualms about getting in my car in the middle of a rainstorm and driving to the grocery store or wherever I need to go downtown. I have no fear of stalling out because of high water in the road now," resident James E. Smith said.
"We have good drainage now. The water moves on out," said resident Pete Duke. "You can look and we have no water standing and that's great."
Pascagoula officials said crews will remain on duty for the duration of the storm in case any problems arise.