Contractor working to clear low-lying streets

Several low-lying areas of east Biloxi streets were closed because of standing water after a torrential overnight downpour, more than five-and-a-half inches in the past 24 hours, and workers this morning are working to clear streets of water and prepare for the expected next round of rain.

“We had a dozen men manning water pumps until 2 in the morning,” said John Cowart of Oscar Renda Contracting. “At that point, we were worried about the pumps themselves being inundated. Those men are back on the job this morning, moving standing water and once they get that moved, they’ll be smoothing out roadways.”

The National Weather Service says 5.47 inches of rain fell in Biloxi in the past 24 hours, with the majority of that total, 3.38 inches, falling between midnight and 6 a.m.

Workers from Oscar Renda this morning are focusing efforts on Division Street and low-lying neighborhood streets where water may be slow to drain.

“We’re aware that people are going to the many churches in east Biloxi this morning,” Cowart said, “so we’re working to get those roads in the best shape we can.”

Police advise motorists to avoid traveling through standing water and do not drive around police barricades.

Among the areas that were inundated with water were sections of Hopkins Boulevard, Porter Avenue, Dorries Street, Querens Street, Cedar Lake Road, Bohn Street, Main Street, Bradford, Lameuse, Esters and a section of Woolmarket Road.

“The street flooding is not limited to the construction zone,” Cowart said. “We’ve seen street flooding south of the CSX Railway, and we’ve even seen standing water on some of the areas of the construction zone where we recently installed new drainage systems and paved the roads. It was just a tremendous amount or rain.”
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