HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg is encouraging residents to report all flood damage from last week, whether it’s water in your house or a broken fence. Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said the reports will help the city assess damage to receive government assistance to improve the infrastructure.
Barker said last week’s floods have caused serious damage and the city is working to receive assistance from the state.
“It’s important to us because as we’re trying to go through the disaster declaration process through Mississippi Emergency Managment,” Barker said. “There’s a certain threshold the county has to meet for the public assistance side of things.”
Barker said the county as a whole has to reach $283,000 worth of public infrastructure damage in order to receive the assistance. Even though engineers are still assessing the damage, he feels the costs in the city alone will be well into the millions.
“So right here on Mcinnis Avenue, in the east Jerusalem neighborhood, you have a road that already has a little bit of cracking just from wear and tear over the years. This was one of the blocks that was under water,” Barker said.
The city has several road projects underway, but the expected flood damage has caused a major setback, according to Barker.
“A road that we thought we could wait until 2022-2023, it needs to be paved now, and the problem that we have is that your resources are stretched far and now you’re trying to catch up,” he said.
Barker said 27 roads were closed last week and the city has barricades and personnel on standby in the event of more flooding. He said since 2013, the city has had three disaster declarations.
“But communities that are hit by two tornadoes in five years and now two flash floods and some river flooding, it’s hard for us to bounce back in a sustainable way,” he said.
Barker said the city is actively working to improve their flood management plan to mitigate future flooding and improve the drainage system
He said residents with any flood damage can report it to their Action Line at 601-545-4500.
To help compile a list of streets and areas where flooding occurred during last week’s flash flood event, the city is asking for residents to submit any video and photos they may have.
You can also send a text with video or photos to 601-310-2880.