Pelham Fire Department scouting flood zones in light of continued rain

PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — After a week of rain and with more on the way, Pelham firefighters are keeping a close watch on water levels along roads and creek banks.

“Any time that we’ve had as much rain as we’ve had in the past week, and then there’s two to three inches that’s predicted this weekend, we always start looking at our flood prone areas,” said Deputy Chief Blair Sides with the Pelham Fire Department. “We’ve got several areas in the city that we watch the roads, watch the creeks to make sure that those areas are not going to flood. If we do see the creeks starting to get out of the banks then we alert the people in those areas to make sure that they are aware and possibly issue an evacuation for that particular area if we have to.”

Some units in the South Chandalar Townhomes neighborhood were flooded out back in spring of 2013 after an intense downpour of rain.

Betty and Neil Hardin had some car damage, but they got off easy compared to their neighbors slightly downhill

“It came right here up to the door but there and that is as far as it came up here, but it flooded my patio drain,” said Betty Hardin.

Having lived there before she was married, Hardin says she had seen that type of flooding before, but her husband Neil was stunned.

“He watched it and about worried himself to death and I kept saying everything is going be fine, and it was, but the people that came from the back, I felt so sorry for them,” said Hardin.

Pelham Fire and Rescue personnel are scouting out trouble spots to keep a close eye on creeks and roads in flood prone areas, because in many of them the roads flood first, according to Sides.

“We’ve got several areas in the city that we keep a close eye on. We’ve got Highland Lake Estates to the south. We have a couple of mobile home parks. We’ve got Southgate Estates, Belle Vista Mobile Home Park, Green Park South and then of course we’ve got Beaver Creek on the north end of the city that we keep a close eye on also,” Sides said.

Sides says not only is it dangerous to drive through standing water on a road, but walking can be just as treacherous.

“You don’t want to walk through areas that, if you see flooded areas you don’t know if there are drains underneath that particular area or not and it can suck you right in,” said Sides. “They had that in Helena and actually several years ago we had one of our firemen that got sucked into a drain and we were very fortunate that that individual did not get sucked right on underneath the highway.”

There’s no imminent danger, but Sides says the Pelham Fire Department will have boats and Humvees ready to respond if need be.

Residents of the South Chandalar area are watching the creek.

“When you are here you do watch the creek and that’s only natural, but I just hope that things will just stay safe and the Lord will stay with us- that nothing like that will come about,” said Hardin.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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