SHEFFIELD, Ala. — For residents, of West Montgomery Avenue in Sheffield, the sight of an overcast sky brings anxiety rather than relief from the summer heat.
Beverly Spires knows that uneasy feeling all too well. She said when it rains, the water doesn’t exactly flow where it’s supposed to. “Years ago, the city used to dig all the ditches out from 13th all the way down to the plaza and they would carry our water from the rains,” she said.
For about three years now, Spires said the city no longer maintains the ditches and they’ve become filled in with dirt to the point that they’re almost level with the front lawns.
“I’m getting all the rainwater into my yard which is flooding, causing foundation problems,” Spires said. “My driveway’s washing out, my sidewalks have cracked.”
In the past, there’s been so much water that her granddaughters were able to ride a boat in the front yard.
Spires had to modify her home, adding barriers to the outside of her cellar vents. She said the cellar has filled with floodwater more than once, which is an issue in the case of severe weather. “I really depended on that because years ago, I have actually seen a tornado follow the river down through here when we’ve been in that cellar, and felt safe in it, but I didn’t have drainage problems or flooding back then,” Spires said.
We reached out to the Sheffield Street Department to inform them of the issues on West Montgomery Avenue. They’ve taken note and said they will send someone out to address it.
Stay with WHNT News 19 as we wait for an update.