Snakes alive!… Meridian woman battling snakes

By Staff
INVADING SNAKES n Luvenia Hodges looks out from her home over a creek heavily infested with water moccasins. She's asked city officials to help fight the invaders. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
March 15, 2001
Luvenia Hodges is battling a fear of going outside as she tries to avoid confronting invaders that can take all the fun out of a summer day.
Snakes.
Hodges, 60, says for the past several years the reptilian creatures have become increasingly more aggressive, multiplying and moving into the yard of her Fifth Street home.
Ward 4 Councilman Jesse E. Palmer Sr. says the snakes have become a problem around small creeks and deep ditches running through the city.
On Monday Hodges' son trapped several snakes in the front yard and contacted Palmer. Palmer has voiced concern about the ditch problems for the last several years.
Although most of the snakes trapped were nonvenomous, Palmer said some of the snakes were poisonous cottonmouths, better known in Mississippi as "water moccasins."
Palmer said for residents like Hodges, who live near creeks, the problem is dangerous. Fortunately, the Ward 5 Councilman says, no one has been bitten.
Hodges, who has lived on Fifth Street for more than 20 years, says although the city has come out and cut back the grass in recent years, more attention needs to be given to the local citizens' plight.
Palmer said the city might try to obtain federal grants or funding that can be used to concrete and clean the areas around the creeks to discourage snakes from taking up residence.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.

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