Waveland Woman Tired Of Drainage Problems

The river that grew in her front yard may be from the weekend rain, but a Waveland woman says the city's drainage system is the root of the problem. And she says she's tried for ten years to get it fixed.

City leaders call it a natural drainage system, vital to keeping flood water moving south. But Stella Williams calls it an eyesore and a health hazard.

"We've got snakes and rodents and I don't know what floating in this water, but then after it all drains out we have standing water and garbage everywhere."

Williams says once the water subsides, she and her husband are left with mounds of trash to clean up.

"Balls, beer bottles, pop bottles, gasoline. These are not ours. These don't come out of our yard. I don't know where this stuff comes from, but it shouldn't be our problem. We shouldn't have to live with it."

On top of that, Williams says, the ditch is getting larger and is eating away her front yard. Williams says a stump is all that's left of a tree that fell on her house after water compromised the roots.

"Do we have to cut every tree in our yard so that they don't fall on our house? The flooding needs to be addressed. I just want to quit rolling up my pant legs. Have city officials roll up their sleeves and take care of this problem."

Williams believes the drainage pipe that runs underneath Farrar Lane is not big enough. But Mayor Tommy Longo told WLOX News those pipes are fairly new.

"Three and a half years ago, we increased the pipe size from 18 inches to a 36 inch pipe. Any pipe larger than that will create flooding problems for residents on the next street over."

Williams says she just wants the flooding on her street to go away.

"They've come out here. They've looked at the problem after a major flood, promised me the moon and I still don't have any results."

Mayor Longo said the city is working on a comprehensive city drainage plan. Part of that plan could include buying out some of the homes around Farrar Lane with the help of FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

But it's unlikely Stella Williams' home would be one of them because her home is elevated.

by Al Showers