Hancock County residents brace for flood waters

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Most Hancock County residents are wasting no time preparing for what Tropical Storm Karen might bring their way. Many say even if the storm doesn't make a direct hit on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, they are still bracing for a lot of water.

Christopher Vosbein says living on Bayou LaCroix is a way of life. Fishing, boating and crabbing are all at his front door.

"I have the most beautiful sunsets. No one can explain really. It's hard to explain the feeling you get living in a place like this," said Vosbein.

But he says there is a down side.

"Flood. Flooding all the time," remarked Vosbein.

He says with every flood threat, a routine he and his neighbors are very familiar with must go into effect.

"It forces me to start picking things up, moving stuff out. It just disrupts your life so much," explained Vosbein.

He says each time the flooding appears to get worse. He and many others believe the levee build up around New Orleans is causing it.

"It just funnels all the water from any tidal surges straight to this area," according to Vosbein.

Vosbein is disabled and often has to pay someone to help him lift and move the heavy stuff.

"I wish that Mississippi would get its levee system act together. Locks across the Bay, it would relieve folks like us."

Kenny Rothwell lives around the corner. He's raising the '55 Chevy he's restoring in hopes of preventing it from getting flooded.

"You can't wait to the last minute or you're going to run out of time," said Rothwell.

He also blames higher flood waters on Louisiana's levee system.

"The water is pushing up against them and it's coming right back here to Hancock County."

He and others say dealing with the problem is getting old.

"Quite honestly, I don't know how much longer we can take it," said Vosbein.

Hancock County supervisors have said in the past they will use BP RESTORE Act money to begin a levee system around Port Bienville Industrial Park and build out from there.

The U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers in Louisiana maintain that the impact of the Louisiana levees on Mississippi would be minimal. But Mississippi's Congressional delegation has asked for funding to do a study on the impact.

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