Madison County Commissioner addresses flood concerns, answer leaves neighborhood residents frustrated

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – People living in Whitt Haven Subdivision have been dealing with flooding for six years. The community had a meeting with their Commissioner Phil Vandiver last Thursday to address the problem.

Resident Jessica Edwards said nothing came out of the meeting. Edwards claims she had to spend $30,000 the last time her house flooded. "It was a normal day, we had no idea there was two and half feet of water in our garage, and once I noticed that all I could do was just cry. And crying doesn`t help anything. But neither is our county commissioner," Edwards explained.

Commissioner Phil Vandiver says he is aware of the problem and that they started working on a solution back in 2016. Vandiver said the issues are with the drains. He claims to have spent $16,000 on two studies trying to solve the problem.

"We thought we could increase the drainage under Murphy Hill and that would allow us to drain more water to the east, but we know if we increase water coming in under Murphy Hill, then we are going to increase problems for the folks east of Murphy Hill," Vandiver said.

These studies are something Edwards and many others said they knew nothing about. "A lot of times when I don`t have the answer on where I'm going, we don`t really say a lot. Maybe we do need to be saying more," Vandiver said.

He said the solution to the flooding problem isn't an easy fix. "This is going to take a while to figure out. Then of course the financial side of it. I can`t put all my money into draining Whitt Haven Subdivision," Vandiver said.

"It just makes me think that we are low priority.  There`s hundreds of homes in our neighborhood, handful that are being flooded. Just tells me he doesn`t care," Edwards said.

Vandiver said he knows the community is frustrated, but he does not have a time frame on when this problem will be fixed.  It's not the answer Edwards was looking for at last Thursday's meeting. Vandiver did mentioned homeowners can get flood insurance.