Clogged ditches blamed for flooding in Hattiesburg

Clogged ditches blamed for flooding in Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Clogged ditches and drains can cause flooding during severe rainfall.

Mendi Jackson lives on Navajo Circle in Hattiesburg.

Neighbors said a ditch behind the Street can sometimes cause flooding throughout the neighborhood.

Mike Griffith has lived on Navajo Circle in Hattiesburg for more than 30 years. He said when it rains, the ditch behind the home causes several feet of water to rise in his backyard.

"If theee is a tremendous amount of rain, it hits there it blocks then it back up, and once it backs up the creek overflows and it comes up into our yards," Griffith said.

He said the city does not clean up the ditch often.

"I think the city should at least once a year should get out in the ditch or the creek back ther and clean up the debris," Griffith said. "Things that clog up the culvert."

Officials at city of Hattiesburg Public Works said a lot of rain in a short amount of time can cause ditches and drains like the behind Navajo Circle to clog, which can sometimes lead to flooding.

Director Larry Barns said the department sends crews to work in designated areas that are considered hotspots.

"They report back to us in the area what they are working on, and what they've done to try to make sure those drains are open prior to the rain coming in," Barnes said.

Barnes said residents in neighborhoods with drainage issues can take precautions to decrease the amount of blockage.

"We know that everybody can't put all their leaves in bags, but if they can put them in bags or put them in those brown cans and make sure sticks are not on the curb where it can wash down and block up some of those drain," Barnes said.

City of Hattiesburg Public Works said it plans to work closer with the engineering department to make big drainage corrections in some areas.

"We do have some areas that I've noticed that we need to go in and look at the drainage and pipes size to make sure those pipes are large enough to carry that rain," Barnes said.

Griffith and other residents on Navajo Circle said engineering a larger culvert in the ditch behind the street may help to limit the flooding.

City of Hattiesburg Public Works said to contact the office if there are drainage problems in your area. They will send out a crew to clean the area.