County engineer hopeful new technology will help with funding for Oak Hills flooding

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT)  - While Russellville is cleaning up after some surprising flooding late last month, one Franklin County subdivision is gearing up for the next round of rain.

Franklin County leaders say the Oak Hills subdivision needs relief from constant flooding, and they are trying once again to help.

"We have had repetitive flooding in that subdivision actually since it was built in the 1970's," explained county engineer David Palmer. "We have applied for CDBG funding to help alleviate the worst of the flooding twice."

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 3.55.55 PMAfter the most recent flash flood on May 27, county leaders decided it's time once again to apply for Community Development Block Grant funding to help mitigate the water.

"The flooding has been more extreme and it has occurred more often in the last ten years," Palmer said. "It is a major problem. Those people need help and we're trying real hard to get some money."

They submitted for grant approval once in 2013, and again last year. However this year, Palmer said they have the technology to back them.

Geographical Information Technology takes all of the flooding information and photos taken over the years and puts it all into one data base. It was created for the county with the help  of the University of Alabama.

The Franklin County Commission is applying for a $350,000 grant to help cover the costs of providing adequate drainage infrastructure and road improvements in a portion of the subdivision. That's phase one.

Palmer said the engineering estimate for the total cost of that project is $507,142. The entire subdivision would cost about $1.25 million.

"We’re concentrating on the worst area first, which is what the GIS technology helps us to do."

However, if they don't get the grant, the county recently purchased property in Oak Hills to further explore solutions, like a possible retention basin.