GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport residents - tired of being flooded or facing the threat of more – are finally getting relief.
On Wednesday, as part of infrastructure work the city has promised, workers began the big cleanup of a ditch residents say is a major culprit.
Mowers created a sweet sound to residents along Faust Drive in Gulfport for residents like Sherri Enge, who is at ground zero when waters begin to rise.
"We're OK when the sun is shining, of course," Enge said with a chuckle. "But when it starts to rain, then I get apprehensive. I walk from the door to the window and back and gain to make sure that the water is not rising in the street."
Enge is relieved that some progress was being made to prevent future flooding.
"Prayerfully, we won't have to encounter it any time soon. So with them at least making an effort, hopefully it will alleviate some of the problem, but I don't know this," said Enge.
Gerald Bradshaw is hopeful, but has learned to always have sandbags at the ready.
"It's being done, now maybe we can get some relief and get some sleep," Bradshaw said. "And we don't want what happened in Louisiana."
The cleanup of the ditch just west of Faust Drive and north of Dedeaux Road should be finished by the end of the week now that the city has the right of entry permits. But the problem, drainage experts say, is not with the ditch itself.
The issue lies in the wetlands just south of Dedeaux Road when they become backed up by rain. The cleaning ends where the ditch meets wetlands 3,000 feet from the Dedeaux Road culvert.
Brenda Smith says debris gets caught in the vegetation that then causes the water to back up, and that residents want to see the ditch put on a regular maintenance schedule.
"They don't know if that ditch had been 100 percent cleaned out on April 28; whether we would or we would not have gotten any water," Smith said. "We just want them to keep it clean so that we see if are not going to get water once it's cleaned."