Possible funding could help with ongoing flooding issues in Moss Point
MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - Millions of dollars in federal funds will address long-term hurricane recovery and restoration in Moss Point and Harrison County.
If approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, $14 million will be sent to Moss Point, where decades of flooding issues have impacted residents, particularly those living on Rose Drive.
“All of this is just water. All the way down it looks like one lake,” said neighborhood resident Bethlyn Riley as she pointed out flood areas of her property. She told WLOX News this problem is not new.
“When I was young going to Kreole Elementary, the kids on Rose Drive would always miss school. It’s been like that for years,” she said.
Back in 2021, when Hurricane Ida hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Rose Drive was drenched with flood waters. Riley said she lost everything she had, including the items of her grandchild. She had to start over.
“Some residents have been keeping their furniture on blocks. Some people said for 30 years. That’s too long,” said Moss Point Mayor Billy Knight.
He hopes that the federal funds will be the first step in preventing that type of flooding from happening again.
“On the 27th of March, we’ll have a final public hearing to look at this action plan that we’ve put together,” he said. “It’s broken down into three phases of infrastructure, drainage and an overall study of the area. And once HUD approves that action plan, then it comes back and we put those actions into progress.”
HUD determined the losses from Hurricanes Ida and Zeta were so great that Moss Point needed more money to combat ongoing flooding issues. If the action plan is approved, Knight said that residents can see progress within six months to a year.
It’s news that excites Rose Drive residents.
“When it starts flooding, we have to tell Miss Gloria, ‘come on, let’s get out, let’s get out.’ And she would love to know that it’s gonna get better,” Riley said. “We’re hopeful, and I have faith in Mr. Knight. He’s going to do it. He’s gonna get it done. It just takes the right person.”
“I assume that if this was easy, someone else would have done it. Nobody did. I’m here now, I’m gonna try to get it done,” Knight said.
Another $5 million of HUD funds will go to the Harrison County roofing and retrofit program for low-income residents. Habitat for Humanity will oversee that work, but details on how to apply and who will qualify won’t be available for several months.
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