GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Many residents who live along Brickyard Bayou, have struggled with flooding problems for a long time. Plans for a drainage improvement project have been in the works for years, but city leaders took the first step Monday night to inform citizens about how they plan to move forward with the project.
Monica Walker moved to the area of Brickyard Bayou in 1998. She said immediately after moving in, her property flooded for the first time.
"Hurricane Georges came in and we were still in boxes, so that really was our first taste of flooding and hurricane damage," said Walker.
It's not just named storms that flood her home. She has pictures from after heavy rains showing what looks like a pond around her front door.
"You always go into the property with that doubt like, oh it's going to get destroyed. I still keep pictures in plastic and containers, so I just have that fear," said Walker.
Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines is tired of her constituents living in fear that their homes will flood every time it rains. That's why she is excited to begin work on phase two of the Brickyard Bayou drainage project.
"We've had phase one done since 1998 Georges Storm, and this is phase two which there are residents that are really hurting," said Holmes-Hines.
The engineering firm Brown, Mitchell, and Alexander Inc. worked on phase one of the project and will also be assisting the city with phase two.
"It will entail cleaning the trees and brush out of the bayou widening as much as we can and providing access for maintenance because maintenance is very important to this stream," said Dax Alexander.
Alexander said they still have to receive a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers before they can begin, but they have already met with them several times and are confident the permit will be granted soon.
Councilwoman Holmes-Hines says the city has $2 million for the project. The scheduled date of completion for phase two is April 2016.