Solving Drainage Problems

The Waggoner drainage study centers on existing watersheds in the county. Diamondhead lies within the Rotten Bayou watershed which is tied for top place in drainage deficiencies with the
Cutoff Bayou-Jourdan River watershed. Here’s what the study says about it:
“While there are fifteen different problem areas in the Rotten Bayou watershed, there are a few similar causes to problems at those sites. Multiple sites have detention/retention ponds that have become silted which can drastically reduce the stormwater storage volume. In other locations ditches lining the streets are retaining water during dry spells indicating a problem with the grading of the ditches or sediment buildup blocking the drainage path. Finally experience shows that in the watershed as a whole, there is a lot of water moving through the watershed that backs up when the surrounding bays and streams become swollen with stormwater. Due to the large quantities of water there is not enough storage within the watershed which results in flooding.”
“As the entire watershed is lacking in proper infrastructure, it is recommended that repairs and clearing are undertaken throughout the watershed. A hydraulic model of the watershed is recommended.”
Some of the high priority sites have had ongoing or completed projects done that address some of the problems, but we’re $11M away from finished. That is not the city’s fault. But it’s a matter of time till we get a perfect storm: inadequate infrastructure, wrong way wind and tide, and a Houston-style Harvey here to stay awhile.
Somebody needs to light a fire. We’ve done little so far to improve stormwater ordinances and policies. Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure principles need to be built into them — that’s the #2 Waggoner recommendation and it’s not news. The Rotten Bayou Watershed Improvement Plan told us the same thing years ago. How much longer are we going to wait?
Peggy Dutton
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