River Community Faces Flooding

They travel the neighborhood in boats and continue to keep a close watch on the latest river readings. All the streets in Pascagoula River Estates are underwater. But longtime residents of this George County community have come to expect occasional flooding.

That's why their houses and fishing camps are built on stilts.

"If you don't like water, don't move here," said Grady Hilton, as he guided our boat through the water logged Benndale community.

Hilton doesn't mind the water at all. After surviving several floods, this seasoned river resident knows his way around. And with all roads underwater, we quickly appreciated our tour guide's expertise.

"We're actually on a road right now."

Water from the rising Pascagoula River began invading this Benndale community sometime Sunday. Many of the homes are recreational fish camps. But there are permanent residents as well.

"Oh, I love it. It's a little inconvenient. But when you're retired, you enjoy it," Hilton said.

Back waters from the river bring both inconvenience and surprises.  A black snake swam past our small boat.

Hilton assured us it wasn't dangerous.

"You can play with them."

We passed on playing with the snake. But we did wade through the floodwaters to check out the view from the Hilton's raised residence.

His wife, Jean, is waiting for the water to go down. She doesn't expect it to get any higher.

"Oh no. I don't think it will come any higher. I don't think it will. If it does, we're all going to be in trouble."

Longtime river residents call this their little slice of paradise. It's water logged only on occasion. But it's peaceful year round.