HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Thursday morning in the Train Depot, Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker called a meeting to address flood issues within the city, and how the city could possibly improve its flood rating. The City of Hattiesburg is a voluntary member of FEMA's community rating system program. As part of the program, the city wants to develop a regional floodplain management plan, which will include a committee made-up of city employees, local residents, and stakeholder groups.
“We know that flooding in Hattiesburg and flood insurance issues are a big problem for residents and commercial development in certain parts of the city,” Barker said. “To better our flood rating, we have a floodplain management program, and a planning committee that helps with that.”
The committee met for the first time Thursday to discuss issues that they often face.
“Flood insurance is really a big thorn in my side,” Hattiesburg resident, Melvin Williams said.
“The flooding issue is the biggest problem,” Hattiesburg resident, Torsky Williams said. “We have been tackling this for over twenty years, and I’m glad they are doing something about it. We hope that with this committee we will have some great ratings.”
Right now the city's flood rating is a Class 8, and officials hope to get it down to a Class 6. The committee meets again July 19 at 4 pm in the Train Depot.