OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - There are growing concerns in Ocean Springs about the city's drainage system and flooding problems. This is in the wake of a deluge last week that dumped six inches of rain on the city in just a few hours. The area impacted the most is just a block from city hall.
Tina Sullivan has seen flooding before, but nothing like last week. It was so bad, she shot video of the watery onslaught on Porter Ave. and explained how is happened.
"My house is the lowest point, and the water accumulates and it comes from Government St.," said Sullivan.
Neighbors have a theory about why this happens. One of them is Rose Skelton.
"It goes back many years. The storm drains are not big enough to handle the amount of water in any storm," said Skelton.
Besides the flooding, there's an even greater concern for Sullivan.
"We have an antiquated drainage system over here that is not covered, and it has been this way since I was a little girl, because I've been living in the same house since 1963," said Sullivan.
So far, no one has been hurt yet, according to Sullivan.
"No one has fallen in, thank goodness, but it's a very real possibility. We don't know what the danger is."
Neighbors like Sandy Delatoba agree.
"I'm always concerned about this drain. There's kids that are always coming here and playing, well, not playing, but coming and looking in the drain," Delatoba said.
Mayor Shea Dobson says drainage will be a top priority for this administration, but the record rainfall this year has really exposed the problem.
"We've had a lot of sinkholes. We've had a lot of issues throughout our entire city, and with all the rain, all of our problems are starting to show just all at once," Dobson explained.
While the mayor says he can't promise a quick fix to the drainage problems along Porter Ave. and elsewhere in the city, he did promise one thing. He's going to take a look at that dangerous culvert.
"That's definitely something that we can look into, and we'll look at all of our options. Our first priority is to make sure our citizens are safe," said Dobson.
For the mayor, that's a good start. Dobson is visiting the White House next month and plans on asking federal officials if there's any assistance that Washington can provide to help with the city's drainage issues.