Rains flood northern parts of county

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flood waters rise around the main desk at Alabaster's Albert L. Scott Public Library during heavy rains on July 31. The library has flooded three times in the past month. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Parts of Alabaster, Helena and Pelham reported flooding early July 31 after the National Weather Service predicted more than 4 inches of rain had fallen since midnight.

The Pelham Fire Department reported flooding along Shelby County 261, particularly in the Saddle Run and Stratford Place neighborhoods on the northern side of the road, said Pelham Fire Battalion Chief David McCurry.

McCurry said waters rose quickly during the night, but said there were “very few” homes and structures damaged by flooding.

“We’ve been fighting it since 2:30 this morning,” McCurry said.

The outdoor swimming pool at the Pelham YMCA branch on U.S. 31 also rapidly took on water and overtopped, causing minor flooding to the organization’s adjoining facility.

“We are used to dealing with that during extremely heavy rainfall,” said YMCA District Vice President Lane Vines. “There’s some silt that we will have to clean out of the pool, and a little bit of water got into the building.”

Vines said the YMCA suffered no significant damage, and said the branch was scheduled to open a little later than normal.

Alabaster saw widespread effects of the storm, said Alabaster City Administrator George Henry. High winds and lighting blew down several trees, blew transformers and downed power lines throughout the city.

Rains also re-flooded Alabaster’s Albert L. Scott Public Library and the basement locker and weight rooms at Thompson High School, marking the third time the two facilities have flooded in the past three weeks.

Shelby County Schools spokeswoman Cindy Warner said the flooding at THS was minor, as it also was at Valley Intermediate School, the Shelby County Instructional Services Center and Montevallo High School. The storm also caused power outages at Calera Intermediate and Meadow View Elementary schools.

Water rose several feet on Buck Creek in Helena and flooded parts of Shelby County 261, and firefighters responded to an early morning blaze in the Cahaba Falls neighborhood off Shelby County 52.

Flooding also forced Shelby County Sheriff’s Department deputies to close Alabama 119 near Briarwood Christian School shortly after 9 a.m.