Residents blame blocked creek for erosion, flooding, and health problems

Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 7:58 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A creek that isn’t flowing is now causing erosion problems and is a health hazard, according to one North Jackson resident.

Living along Purple Creek used to be relaxing for homeowners who loved hearing the waters travel to the Pearl River but not any longer.

They say they have complained to the city and other agencies for a decade but to no avail.

In triple-digit heat and with no rain for about a month, four feet of stagnant water stands behind homes on Southbrook Drive. Residents said it’s been a problem for for about 10 years.

“This water should flow from here all the way out around Purple Creek and out to the Pearl River,” said Mindy Bowers.”

Instead, the retired communications technician said the water sits not draining south, causing her property along the creek bank to erode.

“Every year I lose more property because the bank is falling in from the water continuously being in the creek, saturating the soil, and then big chunks falling off,” said Bowers.

Mosquitoes are also a problem which Bowers says led to her contracting West Nile last July 4 during a backyard gathering.

“When they did the blood test they called me to tell me I had West Nile antibodies,” said Bowers. “It was a very, very, very hard time in my life to be my age and to contract that.”

She lives in a flood zone and said in 2020 flood waters rose three feet into the shed in her backyard. The North Jackson resident and other homeowners blame a water sewer repair about a quarter of a mile downstream that left a pile of rocks blocking the creek.

What appears to be a dam does not allow the water to flow to the Pearl River.

The 27-year homeowner has been in constant contact with the city and has reached out to the EPA and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

“They need to look at it and say yes I see the problem, and we’re gonna fix it,” added Bowers.

Jackson Communications Director Melissa Faith Payne said the city is aware of the situation, and the city engineer is looking into it.

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