Horn Lake working to clear flood-causing ditches

The Associated Press

HORN LAKE, Miss. (AP) — Horn Lake officials are moving into high gear to try to address flooding problems that plague the city.

The Commercial Appeal reports city public works employees are busy this week clearing ditches that are a major cause of flooding threatening homes and businesses any time there’s a heavy rain.

Using a rented excavator, Public Works Director Spencer Shields said Monday his department has already mulched debris in the Dunbarton and Belle Meade areas and will move on to other areas after work is finished in the current locations.

“We’re trying to clear waterways so as much water as possible can flow through the city,” Shields said. “Ultimately, we’re going to have to deal with Horn Lake Creek, but for now this stuff that’s accumulating in these ditches is hindering the water flow.”

Horn Lake isn’t alone when it comes to flooding woes. Neighboring Southaven and Olive Branch in eastern DeSoto County regularly face threats from heavy rain as well. In Horn Lake, residents have complained to aldermen during recent meetings about flooding that in some cases has cut them off from their homes and caused extensive damage. Mayor Allen Latimer and Shields assured the homeowners that the city was trying to address the problem, and Shields said the work now underway is a direct response.

In addition to the excavator the city brought in to help clear ditches, Shields said he traveled to Louisiana last week to look at a boom mower that mounts on a tractor. Between the two pieces of equipment, Shields said, his workers should be able to go a long way toward clearing flood-causing debris and keeping ditches clear.

“This equipment allows you to do more with fewer people,” he said.