The heavy rainfall earlier this week came right after one city leader brought flooding issues to the table during the recent city council meeting.
With barricades along many Yazoo City streets and even a few homes inaccessible due to the rising flood waters early Tuesday morning, Alderwoman Elizabeth Thomas said it is time to do something about clogged ditches that contribute heavily to the flood concerns within the community.
“We need to address the ditches,” Thomas said, during the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Monday afternoon. “Trees and bushes are growing in them. They are impeding the waterway.”
Thomas said she was contacted by several residents on Woodlea Drive, Lee Avenue and Lamar Avenue with flooded property lots on Jan. 3 and Jan. 4. She took photographs of the properties and roadways, presenting them to Mayor Diane Delaware.
After Delaware investigated some of the areas, it was discovered that a bucket was stuck inside a drain, which was later removed by public workers.
“Another lady on Lamar Avenue stated that she had never had water under her house until Jan. 3,” Thomas said. “I advised her of the situation on Woodlee and Lee and that the storm drains were stopped up because of a bucket and trash.”
Another area of concern for Thomas was the corner of Ninth Street and Lamar Avenue, as well as drains along Prentiss Avenue and Woodlee Drive.
“There is a big branch that has been in there forever, and there is a bike that has rusted that is stopping the drain coming into Lamar off on Ninth Street,” Thomas said. “There are two storm drains that need to be addressed on Prentiss Avenue and Woodlee. These storm drains pose a health and safety issue and need to be addressed immediately. The one on the corner of Eighth Street and Prentiss has no lid on it. At any time, a child or an animal could fall into that drain.”
Thomas asked Delaware to assist her in addressing the flood issues within Ward 4, adding that the mayor has immediately responded to her recent requests.
“We live in a floodplain,” Delaware said. “I have lived on Eighth Street and Lee Avenue longer than anyone has lived in that neighborhood. For 64 years, it has always flooded. I would like to fix those 64-year-old flood problems, but we all know it’s going to flood there. We are going to do everything we can to fix what we can fix.”
Delaware suggested the city board prepare a more detailed plan for drainage issues at a recent upcoming retreat session. But she added that these issues are nothing new, unfortunately.
“We built our houses where it floods, in low lying areas,” she said. “That doesn’t mean it can’t be solved. But the kind of land we have built on has issues on it. It won’t be fixed tomorrow. The same people call every time it rains. But we are going to put our heads together and fix what we can.”