WEST POINT, Miss. (WTVA) — Crews with the Tombigbee River Valley Waste Management District are using chainsaws and heavy machinery on a project designed to significantly reduce the flood hazard around Town Creek in West Point.
They are cleaning out a 6,000 foot stretch of the creek.
"We're not doing any digging. We're just cleaning structures ... getting the water where it will flow," said Jim Mullins, crew leader.
Each section needs to be free of overgrowth or large dead trees that impede the flow of water by collecting other debris that comes down the creek.
"Aside from the trees that grow alongside the creek, it actually catches on the vertical support structures for the box culverts and bridges," said Randy Jones, the city's chief administrative officer.
A key reason why crews are focusing on one particular stretch of Town Creek is that up to 12 feet of water can accumulate during winter or when there is heavy rainfall.
During the summer or drought conditions, there can be next to nothing when it comes to water. That explains why one part of Town Creek collects so much garbage and debris.
When it comes to reducing the risk of floods, improving drainage and increasing erosion control, there is a method to the direction they work in.
"It is really important that you work on the south end, the flow end of it, and work your way north," said Jones. "If you start on the north end and clear something out, it can potentially flood something on the south end."
Weather permitting, crews are expected to be finished with the project sometime in the next two weeks.