Helena residents worry with every storm threat

HELENA, MS (WLOX) - Coast residents living in low lying areas seemed to have dodged a bullet as far as dealing with major flooding. However, earlier in the day on Saturday, tensions were high in Jackson County's Helena community.

Outside one Helena home is a dumpster that neighbors said is full of furniture and other belongings that went under several feet of water during Hurricane Isaac. The homeowners haven't been able to move back because renovations are still underway.

People in the neighborhood wondered how they would fare this time.

"Nervous. Very nervous," said resident Louis Shaw. "Everybody is just now getting their homes back to where they wanted them from the last storm."

Heavy rainfall was a concern but not their only worry.

"During Isaac it had on average about four feet of water in the neighborhood. The only reason it got so bad was they opened up the Alabama floodgates," said Shaw. "They know a storm is coming, and I know the meteorologists can predict how much water. If they can dump that much water out before a storm actually comes that would help out a bunch."

Some neighbors feel if the drainage system were better, flooding problems would be fewer.

Resident L.V. Brealand said, "It's just a mess when you get water down here you know. If they'd clean the drains out and make them bigger, the water would run on out. What it does it bottlenecks in here and just holds the water like a bowl."

Neighbors said they love Helena and plan to stay even if it means holding their breath every time there is a major storm in the Gulf.

Jackson County supervisors told WLOX News that Alabama officials lowered the water level in Big Creek Lake earlier in the week for the amount of anticipated rainfall. They said that means there will be no need to release any more water than is released on an average day.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.