Oxford residents call on city to upgrade drainage system after heavy rains

Oxford received over a foot of rainfall over the course of last week
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 9:20 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - Last week, four of our Mississippi counties were hit hard with consistent rainfall.

A week later, many of those who were impacted in Oxford say the problem of flooding is something that can be solved by the city.

Sudeshna Roy saw the power of the flash floods from her home on Park Drive.

“I just literally saw all the red clay going into that hole and gushing into that drain,” Roy said.

Work had been done near the utility pole in Roy’s front yard. She said it wasn’t filled in properly, and the rains opened a gaping hole as a result.

“It got 10 times bigger,” Roy said.

She and other neighbors are calling on the city to update the public drainage system. Many are worried for the large trees along Park Drive, that too much runoff and erosion could undermine the trees and lead to significant property damage.

Oxford COO Bart Robinson says much of the city’s drainage pipes and ditches are on private property.

“That causes a lot of our issues,” Robinson said. “A lot of the issues we have are self-created, folks moving ditches or filling in ditches that are on their property, and that creates flooding for them more-so than anything else.”

Robinson said he doesn’t want to use public funds on private property, especially if it only benefits one household.

“Now, if we could do it and solve issues for multiple property owners, then those are conversations that we’d be glad to have,” he said.

Roy is hoping Robinson and the city are quick to act with those conversations for the sake of preserving her property.

“With the heavy rain that’s recurring, how do you know that the damage is not going to come back. With that happening, my entire yard will be destroyed,” Roy said.

The COO did point out that he and other city representatives will approach property owners with solutions on how to help rainwater drain better, providing lists of contractors who could take on the task.

Roy and neighbors say they’re planning to start a petition to update their drainage system on Park Drive.

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