Bemis Avenue in Gautier hit hard by flooding

Bemis Avenue in Gautier hit hard by flooding
(Photo Source: WLOX News)

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier experienced heavy rainfall New Year's Day, with many gutters and storm ditches nearing the brim.

However, Bemis Avenue had more problems than others and residents say it's a reoccurring issue.

"It's New Year's and this is what we wake up to - we can't use our toilets, we can't take baths," said Carol Wess. "We have to actually leave."

Wess and other residents say the flooding happens each time there's heavy rain.

"When it rains, it literally pours. With the sewage over flowing - as you can see behind me - they're draining out the ditches where the man holes, and the back flow preventer actually pops off in my yard," Wess said.

Gautier's public works contractor Clear Water Solutions has to come out and clean up the raw sewage. But, what Clear Water does is only a temporary fix; much like putting a bandage on a much larger problem.

Everyone involved agrees it's time for a permanent solution.

"The city [is] discussing options for what they want to do at this time. I don't know if they've come up with a finished option, but they're discussing options now that would ultimately stop this," said Clear Water Solutions project manager Charles Dickson.

Gautier City Councilman Casey Vaughan, who lives on Bemis, says he's been trying to get past the funding roadblock for some time.

"Clear Water Solutions presented three options to the council after I held several town hall meetings with the residents," Vaughan said.

The favorite of the three options would cost the city about $500,000. Vaughan says that money would be well spent, especially because sewage from as far as south Gautier and the Mary Walker Bayou area runs through Bemis Avenue.

"We're talking a lot of residents, neighborhood sewage down here," Vaughan noted. "It's an overall project to help city wide, not just one road that's experiencing it contributing to the problem."

Residents say they're simply sick of the mess and want to see a change.

With more wet weather expected both Sunday night and Monday, Clear Water may have to make the trek out to the neighborhood again.

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