Gulfport resident hopes flooding headaches will be thing of the past

Debbie Stang stands in one of many puddles on her property.
Debbie Stang stands in one of many puddles on her property.

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - On any given day there's standing water on Debbie Stang's front yard in Gulfport. To make matters worse, when a heavy rain comes, her property becomes a river as water overflows from across the street.

Not only is the running water ruining her land, she says it also forces her to regulate her water use at home. During a hard rain her septic tank overflows and all that water from her home ends up on her yard.

While, she's getting some help from the city, she says she wishes she would have known about this headache before she bought the house.

When Gulfport resident Debbie Stang bought her dream home back in 2012, she says she never realized the foreclosed, HUD home was built over a natural drainage way.

"What I thought I was doing was rescuing a foreclosed home a beautiful home and providing tax money for the city and saving the property and getting a great deal at the same time," said Stang.

Within the first month of owning her home she says she was walking through six inches of water on her driveway. After heavy rain, water overflows from across the street and drains onto her property. That's why Stang dug this trench from her front yard to her backyard. It takes care of some of her flooding, but she says it also erodes her land. Her water issues don't stop there.

"The septic tank itself will flood the lawn when the excess water comes from over the street onto the yard it's just that much water, more water. That needs to be absorbed by ground that is already saturated. Because of the amount of water that you see, I wouldn't do laundry. I wouldn't run my dishwasher. I wouldn't do any of those things to overload the system," said Stang.

She says when her septic system is overloaded the excess water from laundry or a flushed toilet will end up on her front yard. Now she's brought her issue to the city.

"Her sewer issue is part of the 2018 project, but her drainage issue once we got the easements in place we're going to try to get our survey crews out to do some survey work, topo work to see if we can make it work," said Gulfport Public Works Director Wayne Miller.

If she could do it over again, she says she would have talked to the city first before buying the home.

"Well I never would have purchased this home if I knew that this water issue was an issue at all," said Stang. "I think that if I had to do it again I would visit the department of public works first."

While Stang's sewer issue has been frustrating, city officials say she isn't the only one with issues. That's why the city has the 2013 Water and Sewer Master Plan, which includes 12-years worth of capital improvements.

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