Heavy Rain Brings Mud And FloodingTo Biloxi Street

After a hard rain, Steven Walraven has to clean the drains to ease the flooding on Crawford Street. Walraven says the water backs up quick, within a matter of 30 to 40 minutes. So residents have to poke holes in the drains and use rakes to remove the debris. He says they get stuck and can't go anywhere.

The owner of "Biloxi Children's Learning and Care Center" also feels blocked in. On one side of the street, high water makes it hard for parents to come through to drop off or pick up their children.

Donnette Heggins says she has to tell the parents to pick up their kids before it starts flooding. The center has had to close sometimes. She has lost 2 children in the past 2 weeks because the parents couldn't get in.

Rosella Turner drops off her 1-year-old baby at the daycare everyday. She says the water would be so high sometimes, she would have to back out because she didn't want to mess up her car.

The other side of Crawford street is often covered with mud, making driving a bit tricky. Sometimes the mud gets so thick, the road is nearly impassable. That means many parents have to get out of their cars, and walk their children through the mud.

All this mess is caused by rain and ongoing road construction. Biloxi Public Works Director Jerry Morgan says crews are doing a complete reconstruction of Crawford Avenue, which includes new water, sewer, storm drains, curbs and gutter. Basically, it's a complete new road.

Morgan says the work was supposed to be finished back in June, but it's behind schedule. He says on this particular job, there's been a lot of rain, which slows the job down. They also had some utilities delays. Morgan asks the residents to be patient. He says it won't be long before they have a nice, new road to drive on.

The reconstruction project, from Crawford Street to Howard Avenue, should be over by the end of August. As for the flooding, the city has budgeted money to fix the drainage, but it's waiting for a wetlands permit before the work can start.