Floodwaters cause power to be cut to Cherokee home

The flooding issues started in mid-March but have become desperate recently.

Posted: Mar 31, 2021 4:12 PM
Updated: Apr 1, 2021 7:46 PM

Floodwaters on Moody Lane in Cherokee have only risen over the last few weeks.

The water has come up so much that Tiffany Christopher had to have power cut off to her home because it was too dangerous. She and her son have been staying with her mom, Tina Cook, who's home is yards away from hers.

Now water is creeping up to the Cook home.

"The water is inside the house [referring to Tiffany's home]," said Cook. "It's past the porch so we're having trouble getting in and out ourselves [referring to her home]."

Cook said in the decades she's lived here the water has never come up this high and stayed. It hasn't gone down and she believes a new solar farm owned by Orsted is to blame. She said the solar farm tore down terraces that prevented flooding in the past.

"When the farmers had it they tore the terraces down one year and they had to go back in and put them up because of the flooding from it," said Cook.

Orsted told WAAY 31 it's hired an independent engineering firm to assess the situation and Colbert County Commissioner David Isom said he's talked with the company, too, about the flooding issues but it's more of a private matter instead of a county matter.

"It might be enhancing this problem to be more than what it's supposed to be but I'm hoping we can all work together for a solution on this," said Isom.

But a solution could be weeks or months away and that's time this family doesn't have as the waters continue to rise and more rain expected.

"How much longer am I going to get to stay in my home? Then where do we go?" said Cook.

WAAY 31 reached out to Orsted to find out if those engineering teams were on the ground making assessments. They sent us this statement in response:

"Orsted is committed to being a good community partner, and are in direct communication with our Muscle Shoals neighbors who raised concerns about flooding following unseasonably heavy rains, which also caused flooding in other parts of the county. We are in discussions with third party engineering firms to complete a full analysis of the affected area to better understand the situation and determine appropriate next steps, and are also in discussions with local officials."

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