Tuscumbia to request help in solving flood problems

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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. – Thursday’s torrential rains showed exactly why Tuscumbia is in need of help.

Drive down Cave Street in Tuscumbia during a downpour and you might just get a surprise. Water pools on the road rather quickly, because drains can’t gather it as fast as they need to.

City leaders are looking for solutions.

“Ways that we can divert water in different places; fix water so more of it can go under a certain culvert as opposed to overflowing the roads,” explained Mayor Kerry Underwood. “We are looking at directing water into places that can handle it better than we are handling it today.”

Road crews have grown accustomed to closing Cave Street when it rains. With the recent Presidential Disaster Relief Declaration through FEMA, the city could get some relief.

“The federal government says if we can improve something, so the damage is lessened for the next event, they are willing to pay 75% of that as well. And the state will also pay their 12.5%,” said Underwood.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency believes for every dollar they spend stopping a problem, they save $11 down the road. So engineers are working to find ways to alleviate the problems.

“If we do certain things it will ease the flooding issues for both the flash floods that happen a lot, as well as the sustained rains that we had back in February that flooded in places differently than it did before,” said Underwood.

Mayor Underwood says this is a city-wide effort. And once their project proposals are completed, the plans will be presented to FEMA for approval. Flood mitigation projects have to meet certain federal guidelines before approval can be granted. City leaders in Tuscumbia are still going over that information.

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