Discovery of culvert may ease flooding

Published 8:57 am Thursday, October 1, 2015


Another buried culvert has been found.

For the second time in about a month, city workers discovered a forgotten and buried drainage culvert and uncovered it, which should lead to less flooding.

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Picayune Public Works Director Eric Morris said Wednesday his crews were cleaning the ditches along East Canal Street earlier in the week when they discovered a cement culvert.

The culvert was on the north side of East Canal, just east of North Loftin, and the culvert had, at one time, carried storm water from the ditch into a small creek.

“They came up on this drainage culvert and opened up one end of it … and found it was a considerably large, 36-inch culvert, which carries a lot of rainwater,” said Morris.

But, as with the earlier culvert, which was discovered on Ridge Road, Morris said even employees who had been in the department for more than a decade could not recall ever seeing

the East Canal culvert. As a result, Morris said, rainwater would sometimes flood East Canal Street, an area that gets heavy traffic and is one of the major entryways into the downtown area.

And, as with the earlier culvert, Morris said nobody could see the culvert’s exit.

“We know that during surprise downpours … water will go across East Canal Street every now and then,” he said.  “So we did like we did on Ridge Road and put the jetter hose against it and kept working and working and working it until we saw a wet spot next to the creek. It was under four feet of dirt in the embankment.”

Morris said he suspects the culvert was covered on purpose, although possibly mistakenly.

“This is just hypothetical but maybe they were building the slope of the creek and inadvertently pushed something against one end of the pipe and didn’t notice. But this was a big culvert that somebody should have noticed,” he said.

Morris added that he understands the general public doesn’t find the discovery of culverts to be important.

“You might have someone say, ‘OK, big deal someone found a culvert and uncovered it. What’s the big deal? You’re just doing your job,’” he said.

But, he pointed out, by doing their job, city workers are reducing flooding incidents, extending the life of the street and preventing future culvert cover-ups.

“Along with doing general maintenance, we’re finding and correcting things that will vastly improve the drainage,” he said.