Forrest County leaders ask for community input in Rawls Springs flooding project

A new grant is set to help make stormy days like today less of a pain for residents in Rawls Springs and Eatonville.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 8:03 PM CST
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RAWLS SPRINGS, Miss. (WDAM) - Forrest County is set to start a $2.4 million infrastructure project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The project will focus on water retention/detention, water management and watershed restoration.

District 2 Supervisor Sharon Thompson first announced the project in 2021, after residents voiced concerns over flooding.

Thompson said the project will consist of a planning and construction phase, with $1.2 million going to each phase, respectively.

“The first part of our $2.4 million project is to meet with the community, get the community to come out to have their input into what their issues are so that those issues can be addressed,” said Thompson.

The planning phase will include an environmental assessment of the area.

Thompson said the bulk of the project will focus on subdivisions like Lakewood Estates, where Lillie Cooper said she’s been dealing with flooding for 40 years.

“Water backs up and it gets up in your yard and has your yard looking like a river,” said Cooper.

Once construction is complete, the county will be legally required to restore residents’ property, back to its original state if affected.

Thompson said before the project can begin, residents must sign a right-of-entry form for workers to come onto their property.

This form will be available next Tuesday at the Rawls Springs Community Center.

Residents are encouraged to come out from 4-6 p.m. and voice their thoughts on how the project should go.

“If the community does not come out and let the US Department of Agriculture know what their issues are, we will not be awarded the finances for the project,” Thompson said.

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