Musgrove Tours Flood-Damaged Gulfport

Jim Randall was one of several residents who shared with Gov. Ronnie Musgrove the heartbreak he feels every time his Bayou View West home fills with several inches of flood water.

"In the house, it was about four (inches), this time," Randall told the governor. "Georges, it was 18. The storm prior to that was about 8 and a half."

"So, you all have had this several times," Gov. Musgrove said.

"This is the fourth time in five years," Randall explained.

To further help people like Jim Randall, Gov. Musgrove will ask the federal government to declare this a disaster area meaning federal dollars could become available to help. Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Latham says it's unlikely, but they're still trying. He's encouraging local leaders to turn in damage information quickly so he can determine if Mississippi will qualify.

"We make the assessment as quick as possible to possibly see if there's enough damage for a federal declaration and that's what we've been doing over the last day or so," Gov. Musgrove said.

About 90 percent of the homes in Bayou View West flooded this week.

The city of Gulfport has already started buying out homes in this neighborhood, but it's been a frustrating process for many residents.

MEMA Director Robert Latham says it's important to work with people here to get the buyout complete before it floods again.

"Eventually, there comes a point in time when you can't continue to rely on flood insurance," Latham said. "We've got to get people out of the flood area and onto higher ground."

Mississippi legislators passed a program last session so the state can assist local governments with buyouts, but they're are waiting for funding. People who live in Bayou View West say it can't come soon enough.

Flood victims who need information about what to do after a flood, can contact Project Impact at (228) 865-4191.

Home owners in Bayou View have long been plagued by flooding problems. Check out these stories from the news archives for more: