Pascagoula Officials Worry Clogged Storm Drains May Be Gulf Coast's Next Disaster

Mike Wixon remembers last April's heavy rains.

"It got up to that garage over there," Wixon says.

It didn't reach his home, but knowing the city's storm drains are clogged with Katrina's mess this year, Wixon says another rain like that would bring his neighborhood even more headaches.

"The last thing we need is for people who are getting their houses fixed and here you come with another flood and some houses get flooded," Wixon says.

"It does not take a lot of rain right now to create a flooding problem here in Pascagoula," Environmental Compliance Officer David Groves says.

Groves says the problem starts down south in the city's bayous.

"A lot of these homes actually washed into the waterways. When you look down it, you can actually see whole roofs inside of it," Groves says.

But what worried Groves is that the affect won't be felt here.

"It's going to be a flooding problem to the north. You're going to have water coming from the sky with nowhere to go. The city's worried about it, the county's worried about it."

The government does have a plan. Groves says the Department of Marine Resources, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Resources Conservation Services are the three agencies that will be cleaning up South Mississippi waterways.

So far they've allotted $30 million to do the job. But Groves says that's not enough.

"It could go into the hundreds of millions of dollars."

Groves says the good news is, the city's main drainage areas will be some of the first to be cleaned. The bad news, the work probably won't be done by April.

"Let's keep our fingers crossed that we have a light rainy season."