Alabama communities still cleaning up after deadly flooding

PELHAM Ala. (AP) — Communities affected by last week’s flash flooding, which left roads and neighborhoods under water and killed four people in Alabama, are still working to clean up the mess and address persistent drainage issues that seem to be getting worse.

Near Birmingham in Shelby County, where emergency management officials have assessed damage to 250 homes, the city of Pelham earmarked $500,000 for storm cleanup and crews are making rounds to collect as much debris as possible, WBRC-TV reported.

Marshall County, located in northeast Alabama, closed an additional street on Monday after flood damage was found to the road base, and officials in Hoover met to discuss emergency repairs and drainage issues that some residents say are a continuing problem.

Matthew Smith told a public meeting in Hoover that he has been requesting repairs to drainage problems for years, and he hopes the city finally will do something.

“I love living in Hoover but this is unacceptable and we are better than this. We deserve better than this as residents,” Smith said.

Andrea Pound, a 17-year resident of Hoover, said a creek has flooded her family’s home three times in the last six months, with last week’s episode being the worst. “It’s just been very frustrating,” Pound said.

The National Weather Service said as much as 13 inches (33 centimeters) of rain fell in a few hours a week ago in central Alabama, causing flooding across a wide area. Three adults and a child died when waters overcame vehicles.

The deluge came about seven weeks after flooding killed more than a dozen people in Tennessee. Such floods may be more common in the future because of global warming, scientists say.

On the coast in Baldwin County, officials are concerned by what seems to be worsening flooding that has damaged homes and washed away roads. A $1.7 million pond was created to retain water in Foley, another pond is being created in Elberta and a $200,000 study is being conducted to identify other areas that need help, Joey Nunnally, the county engineer, told WPMI-TV.

“The amount of rainfall we received this year is historic. Everything’s saturated. The ground water table’s high so you’re starting to see standing water where you typically didn’t,” said Nunnally.