GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Several businesses along a stretch of 25th Avenue in downtown Gulfport were soaked by the flash flooding on Sunday afternoon. Six inches of rainfall in less than two hours left owners and employees mopping up the mess on this Monday.
Employees of "Eats" diner were on clean-up duty this Monday. Deb DeBord got busy with a mop.
"We've done been on our hands and knees doing cabinets," she said. "It's been hectic."
More than a foot of flood water left an unpleasant mess.
"We have to disinfect," said DeBord, "Got some nasty water up in here."
She was here on Sunday and saw what happened.
"About mid-calf high in water. And rain. The freezer was floating," she explained.
Shutting down for a day means a loss of revenue. And this isn't the first unplanned closure due to high water headaches.
"It's very frustrating. It will do this during a normal thunderstorm, much less an outburst like yesterday," said owner, Phillip Guilford.
While the "Eats' crew cleaned-up, heavy equipment scoops muck from a Bayou View drainage ditch. Public works crews spent the day cleaning debris and overgrowth that can hamper the flood water receding. Another city crew checks street drains in the Forest Heights neighborhood.
"Long as it's got good flow, everything is running good," said Joe Leonard.
Normally notorious for flood events, the streets around Holly Circle fared pretty well this time. Even if the drains were pushed to the limit.
"Everything is looking good. There ain't a half inch of water in here. It's like I try to tell all the residents, when we get a lot of rain, it's like dumping a fire hydrant hose over into a bathtub. The plug just won't handle it," Leonard said.
Back at "Eats" diner, the workers are finally getting the best of the flood water. A little teamwork and they'll be back in business by Tuesday's lunch hour.
"We have a good crew here. We're all here working hard. We'll get it done," said DeBord.
Long term, there are some drainage issues that need fixing in the City of Gulfport. But even an upgraded system would have trouble handling the amount of rainfall that fell Sunday in such a short period of time.