Nettleton business owners hopeful from relief from drainage and flood woes

"We had floodwater come in the back door from the bottlenecking issue at the railroad drainage pipe that goes under Highway 6," Dykes said.

NETTLETON, MISS. (WCBI) – Some Nettleton business owners are speaking out about drainage problems, which have led to flooding inside their businesses.

It was the day before the grand opening at SOUTH Boutique and co-owner Mickey Dykes was trying to get water out of her business.

“We had floodwater come in the back door from the bottlenecking issue at the railroad drainage pipe that goes under Highway 6,” Dykes said.

Next door at Sprout Insurance, owner Tim Tubb has also dealt with water in his building, he says caused by outdated infrastructure.

“When I came in the building, there was water coming in through my toilet, the sewer was combining with runoff from the drainage system, there’s some rust or fallout somewhere, pushed it back up through my toilet which flooded all this with sewage water and rainwater,” Tubb said.

And across the street, drainage issues have caused rainwater to get into a commercial space Christy Minich is rehabbing.  In the back of the building, drains are partially blocked and in disrepair.

All three are hoping the city will finally take some action to address the issue.

“The infrastructure has got to be top of the list right now of what’s got to be taken care of, nobody wants to pour money into something and it be ruined, the first time it flooded in October, we had ductwork down, central unit down for renovation, all that stuff was destroyed,” Minich said.

During a recent board of aldermen meeting, Cook Coggin Engineers was hired to study the issue.

After the most recent heavy rainfall, the city cleared two ditches that run along the railroad tracks, exposing the drains for the first time in years. But sandbags are still in place, at the back door of South Boutique.

Business owners say updating the infrastructure will spur commercial development.

“It can enable more businesses to come to Nettleton, Nettleton is a great little community,” Dykes said.

“It’s not like a twenty-year flood we’re getting, if we get a good rain, we got water issues,” Tubb said.

Nettleton Mayor Mem Riley said he didn’t want to do any on-camera interviews until he has seen a preliminary study.  After that, he’s hopeful a gameplan can be approved, to fix the town’s longstanding drainage issues.

Mayor Riley says there may also be some grants available to help repair the infrastructure.

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