Drain System Overwhelmed by Rainfall

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The rain from Monday's storms in Meridian continued to add up until finally water rose into the emergency room at Rush Hospital. The rising water forced hospital officials to temporarily close it, but patient care was not interrupted and the ER reopened a short time later.

The flooding can be link to two separate causes. The first was the intensity of the rainfall. The rain came down so fast that the drainage systems had a hard time dealing with it.

"It came down so fast that the pipes that are there couldn't handle that volume of water," said Public Works Director Monty Jackson.

A secondary cause can be attributed to a blockage in the drainage system, which hindered the evacuation of water from 14th Street. As the water flowed above ground it also flooded parts of Front Street and 18th Avenue in downtown.

"Not enough water could get through the pipe to get downstream," said Jackson. "And it backed up and overflowed 14th Street."

Jackson said the drainage system in this area was recently inspected and no problems were found. He said the blockage most likely formed during the storms as debris in the water collected.

Citizens can help minimize the risk of flooding by refraining from disposing of limbs, leaves and other such items in nearby drainage ditches.

"The people that throw limb debris and yard trash, this gets flushed first downstream, and when that happens it can catch on things," Jackson said.

The city plans to clean out the drain as soon as possible.