As residents deal with flooding, landscapers eye long-term flooding solution for subdivisions

Madison
Data pix.

MADISON, Ala - Between flooding last week and the heavy rainfall expected this week, many neighborhoods are starting to see steady streams of water flowing through yards and streets.

For people like Eddy, who calls Madison home, as soon as he hears about flash flooding, he takes a breath and waits.

"Hope for the best and see what's there in the morning," said Eddy.

In this case, Eddy lives in a newer subdivision. His backyard accumulates fast-moving water every year. Behind his property, more houses are going up. He and his neighbors claim the construction is making the water worse, despite added drainage ditches and piping.

It got so bad, Eddy moved his fence up and essentially gave up part of his yard.

"I have little kids. I have a dog. My dog would go and play in the water. We had snakes coming in," he said.

The City of Madison says they can't do anything else to help Eddy, claiming the water has to go somewhere.

If you ask the professionals at Across The Pond Landscaping, they think the issue can be minimized and it starts with better planning.

You don't have to look far to see all the new developments across North Alabama. Across The Pond Landscaping says if contractors and cities adopt low-impact development practices and policies, flooding could be reduced.

"It's development that considers the environment and allows for water to get back into the ground," said Trevor Cole, the Owner of Across The Pond Landscaping.

This practice centers around permeable vs. impermeable.

Permeable surfaces allow water to enter the ground, even helping to filter out contaminants. While impermeable surfaces are not absorbent and can lead to easier flooding.

Permeable surfaces include: mulch, gravel, planting beds, and some types of turf.

Impermeable surfaces include: concrete, asphalt, stone, and brick.

"It's as easy to put in permeable pavers as it is to put in a regular paver," said  Cole.

According to Across The Pond, many municipalities are starting to mandate permeable surfaces. Across The Pond has also started holding classes for builders to show better ways to reduce flooding at new developments.