Flooding may plague downtown Gulfport businesses for a while

Flooding may plague downtown Gulfport businesses for a while

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The flooding after heavy rain in downtown Gulfport on Thursday was just the latest headache for several businesses along Hwy. 49.

Though Petie's Eats restaurant had to close down for the day, closing up shop has become the norm for next door neighbor Cardinal Flowers.

"Yeah, we typically have it down. Everything goes up, and mop buckets come out, and we sit here and wait for it to go down," owner William Brewer said. "Then we pick up everything and put it back.

Brewer says he's getting hit with flooding from both the east and west, but particularly from the front facing Hwy. 49.

"One of our biggest problems is when it gets high right to the door, the traffic coming through seems to want to hit the water and that washes it into the store even more."

According to the flower shop owner, the city helps divert traffic to keep the wake down. Gulfport Public Works Director Wayne Miller says the water drains to the west, and the drainage culvert is too small to handle the load.

To make matters worse, Thursday's rain came at high tide; which kept the water from getting out into the Gulf and rivers.

The culvert goes under the railroad tracks, so the city will begin soliciting help from MDOT and Kansas City Railroad to improve the drainage. After that, the search for funding will begin.

Until there's a permanent solution, Miller says crews will continue to keep the ditches cleaned out.

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