From Jackson to Byram, homeowners and businesses are inches away from more flooding


HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – While the Pearl River sits at a moderate flood stage, people in the eastern part of Hinds County are on edge as rain runoff sits only inches in some areas from flowing back onto roads and yards.

With rain in the forecast through Saturday homeowners and businesses are planning how to deal with more flooding.

Getting down to the ground roots of it, after all the rain we experienced the past week 60,000 cubic feet of water is flowing down river into the reservoir per-second. And with the Pearl already flooding creeks and drain ditches that feed into it are clogged leaving that water no where to go.

After witnessing rain runoff and overflown streams engulf their neighborhoods earlier this week homeowners in Byram met at city hall to find solutions.

“I was getting ready to go to a meeting and all of a sudden I was in water,” Byram homeowner Sylvia Watley said. “I had no idea that the water outside was as high as it was until I looked in my backyard which was filled with water.”

So far mayor Richard White has received reports of at least 18 homes getting water in them. Some for the first time, while others argued it’s been happening for years.

“I have been trying since 2012 by sending emails to try to get a cross drain cleaned out,” Patricia Brethim of Byram told us. “And it backs up on me, backs up onto Siwell Rd. And goes over the road.”

“When I bought my house about 13 years ago there was no need for flood insurance,” Watley said. “Nobody said it was a flood zone, there had not been any problems in the neighborhood about flooding.”

The most common complaints heard from people were creeks and drain ditches backing up so quickly was the streams over grown with trees and not dugout enough over the years.

“There’s no reinforcement in the ditch that’s in the back of my house,” Watley continued. “It’s just dirt. I’m losing part of my property every time water comes through there. Trees are falling down behind the fence in my property which means the soil is eroding.”

Back up in Jackson the south side of west street is expected to start flooding once the Pearl River rises above 34-feet Friday. Businesses like Beatty Grocery Store are ready to power through.

“I’ve got one lady that works for me who lives right behind here and I came through there this morning down west street and her house will flood if it gets to high,” store manager Mary Harden stated. “I always think of the line from “Who’s in Whoville”, we’re here, we’re here. I always try to say as long as I can stay here I will.”

Hinds County Emergency Operations director Ricky Moore has already filed emergency declarations to cover the county for flooding. But each time a new disaster comes the process must start all over again.

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