THE FLOOD HAZARD
The flood hazard in Hattiesburg comes primarily from The Leaf River and its tributary Creeks including: Gordon, Mixon, Burkett and Priest, which are within the Pascagoula River Basin. Some areas experience local flooding not directly associated with a river or creek. Floods in Hattiesburg are of relatively short duration. After an intense rainfall floodwaters can rise at a rate of two to three feet per hour reaching maximum stage in two hours (or less). Floodwaters in some areas of the city can attain substantial velocities. April 6, 1983 was the last flood involving major river flooding with a river stage of 29.19 ft, and over 32 million dollars in damage. The latest flash floods were in the Mixon Creek basin area in January and March 1999 with rainfall characteristics that may have been in the range of the 500-year and 100-year frequencies, respectively.
FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM
The Emergency Management District receives readings twice a day from the Jackson Weather Service for river flooding. The District also maintains their own gauges on the Leaf River and Gordon’s Creek, which are read daily. The Emergency Management District also monitors the National Weather Service data network, via a computerized satellite receiver system, on a 24 hour / 7 day basis. In the event of an actual flood, the Emergency Management District will immediately notify all local television and radio stations, local schools, government offices, etc.
The City of Hattiesburg has enacted and enforces ordinances designed to minimize the severity of future flood damages. By doing so, relatively low cost flood insurance is made available from the Federal government through licensed property insurance agents. This insurance may be obtained to cover future flood related losses to most structures and their contents. THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE FLOOD DAMAGE IS NOT COVERED BY NORMAL HOMEOWNERS’ INSURANCE.The City of Hattiesburg is a member of the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System, a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS: 1) Reduce flood losses; 2) Facilitate accurate insurance rating; and 3) Promote the awareness of flood insurance.To check your individual flood hazard, floodplain maps and reference materials are available in the Land Code Department, on the first floor of City Hall, and are also available at the Hattiesburg Public Library and U.S.M. Cook Memorial Library.