PPD: Report flooded streets to help with tracking process

Published 3:33 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019

PELHAM – With heavy rain and storms predicted in Shelby County throughout the week, the Pelham Police Department is reminding the public to report flooded streets and to use extreme caution when approaching one.

For the past three to four months, PPD community relations coordinator Ainsley Allison said the department has been keeping track of streets that experience flooding. Allison said the goal is to identify problem areas in the city. Collected data is being passed on to the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency.

“We want to know why these areas are having problems,” Allison said. “After the fact, we can go to those areas and try to figure out if there’s a drainage problem or if it’s a design flaw, and then we can deal with mitigation.”

By tracking and having proof of flooding issues, if a grant were to become available, Allison said the city could apply for the grant to fix the issue.

If a heavily traveled road becomes flooded, Allison said police officers may put up barriers to warn drivers until the water recedes. The most important thing to do when encountering a flooded road is to report it to the PPD and refrain from driving or walking through it.

“Take a different route if possible,” Allison said. “You don’t know what’s at the bottom. The road may be washed out.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 6 inches of fast-moving water can carry away an adult and 12 inches of fast-moving water can carry away a small car. Between 18-24 inches of fast-moving water is enough to carry away most large SUVs, trucks and vans.

“We are monitoring things and we are putting a lot of information in social media,” Allison said. “If we get calls about major roads, we will communicate as much information as possible.”

Residents should call PPD dispatch at 620-6550 to report a flooded street. Do not call 911 to report a flooded street. The only time 911 should be called is in the event of a true emergency.

The PPD is asking residents to be patient as dispatch answers calls because the call volume may be high. Be sure to check the PPD’s Facebook page, “Pelham, Alabama Police Department,” for up-to-date information.