Who will stop the rain?

Published 10:37 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Despite heavy rains and many flooded areas throughout Shelby County Monday, officials at several area cities Tuesday reported no damage as a result.

City and county officials were forced to temporarily close several roads and keep a close watch on streams and creeks throughout the county as Central Alabama was battered by several inches of rain in a few hours.

“I actually drove around the entire city yesterday and this morning, and it looks like most of the flooding has gone down now,” Alabaster City Administrator George Henry said Sept. 22. “But we definitely had a few flooding hotspots yesterday.”

Alabaster police Monday were forced to close sections of County Road 12 West and Shelby County Highway 17, as sections of Buck Creek and other local waterways rose over their banks.

“It was definitely a busy day for us and the police department,” Henry said. “There were some areas that flooded tremendously, but I don’t know of anywhere in the city that’s still flooded right now.”

Alabaster’s northern neighbor also saw heavy flooding during Monday’s monsoon-like rainstorms.

“I haven’t heard of any damage yet from the flooding,” said Eddy Jowers, Pelham’s director of public works. “We had some high water in ditches, and some drainage pipes washed out and other things we had to deal with.

“But if there was any damage, we haven’t heard about it yet,” Jowers added.

Heavy rains also caused officials at the University of Montevallo to close its campus at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Although Montevallo city officials Tuesday reported no damage from the downpour, UM Vice President of Student Affairs Kimberly Barrett said the school decided to cancel classes to ensure student safety.

“The interim president (Dr. Terry Roberson) actually made that decision yesterday,” Barrett said. “Since there were some flooding problems around the city, he made that decision just to ensure student safety.”

Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock reported minor flooding problems on some county property.

“We did not have any major problems at our county buildings, parks or airport, other than some spots along several of our walking trails that had to be avoided,” Dudchock said.

County crews Monday were forced to close county roads 87 and 47, according to Tammy Shaw, administrative assistant at the Shelby County Highway Department. As of Tuesday morning, flood warning signs remained posted on Crenshaw Swamp Road and Hiawatha Road, Shaw said.

City employees and police dispatchers in Helena and Calera Tuesday morning reported no flood-related damage or remaining flooded areas.