Flooded Neighbors Seek Help from County - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Byram 07/06/04

Flooded Neighbors Seek Help from County

By Mari Payton

After weeks of heavy rainfall, some Byram residents have had enough. Last Friday, one subdivision was underwater. The streets were filled with water five feet deep.

Stephanie Zimmerman's home flooded. She said, "Like our whole kitchen is underwater. My computer is fried, we had baby Lab puppies in the garage, they almost drowned."

The Robinson Estates subdivision has flooded for years, but never as bad this bad.

Inez Loggans has lived in the neighborhood for seven years. She said, "I pray please don't let it rain hard, please don't let it rain hard, but it does."

Neighbors have had enough.

Keith Merchant is concerned for his family. He said, "We've called the builder, the county, we're getting the run around, one says call the other one."

Two drain ditches run through the neighborhood. Residents said the drains overflood because they are clogged by debris. One ditch needs reinforcement. The rushing water swept Merchant's backyard fence away. He said, "It's big enough to tug a car away. A human would never have a chance against it. It's moving pretty strong."

Loggans has been trying to get the ditches cleaned for seven years. Today, for the first time, an inspector from Public Works came to the neighborhood. They told her they will take care of the problem, but didn't specify a date.

WLBT called Public Works to see when they were going to clean the ditches.  No one was available for comment.

Loggans said she can't relocate. She said, "I told them when I moved here this would be the last place I lived. The next would be Lakewood which is a cemetery. I can't afford to do anything. I can't afford to move. I am stuck here."

Residents said they were not warned of potential flooding. They would never have moved to the subdivision had they known.

Merchant said, "I asked them when I bought the house, were we in a flood zone? They said no."

Residents now wait for the county to assist them. In the meantime, they're praying for sun in the forecast.

At least six homes had water damage. Most of the residents don't have flood insurance. They were told that the subdivision was not in a flood zone.

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