Drainage study proposal hits a nerve

Drainage study proposal hits a nerve

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A proposal to develop a countywide drainage plan struck a nerve with one board member at Monday morning's Harrison County supervisors meeting.

"What can we do, how can we make plans to help with drainage problems in Harrison County-wide in the future?" said Bruce Newton with Digital Engineering, as he addressed the county board.

Newton brought a proposal to county supervisors that involves partnering with the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a drainage plan.

"They fund things like master drainage plans, master sewer and water plans. And they fund it at a 50 percent rate, basically," he told the board.

"I've been there, done that and spent the money," said Supervisor Marlin Ladner, "And it didn't do a bit of good. And we've got the study on the shelf if anybody's interested in looking at it, they can read it."

Turns out, the county already enlisted the Army Corps to help with such a study before Hurricane Katrina.

"Harrison County and the Corps of Engineers spent over a million dollars for a study. You know what we got out of that study? I'll tell you what we got out of that study. We got a recommendation that we put in some larger culverts under 28th Street where the little bridge is at Klondyke Road and 28th Street," said Ladner.

Supervisor Ladner said the recommendation from that study which made the most sense involved a diversion canal to re-direct some of the flood waters.

"That wasn't even considered. Some kind of environmental stuff, mixing two flood plains. Well by God, the water was being mixed within a half mile once it flooded," said the supervisor.

"Why something like that would happen, why you'd get to the point when you spent a million dollars and ended up with something that you didn't expect, that should have never happened," said Newton.

In the end, supervisors decided to collect and review any previous studies of drainage issues in the county, before any talk of a new study.

Supervisor Ladner says one idea that did result from that earlier drainage study was to construct a levy around Forest Heights to better protect that subdivision from flooding. That project was built.

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