Muscle Shoals buys portable pump to ease possible flooding in the future

The portable pump alone cost $130,000.

Posted: Jul 24, 2019 4:53 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2019 6:57 PM

The City of Muscle Shoals is doing what it can to prevent areas from flooding in the future.

In February's historic flooding, three neighborhoods and dozens of people were displaced from their homes in Muscle Shoals because of flooding. Mass rains hit the Shoals in February where the area had already had record rainfall.

When the rain didn't stop for five days, multiple retention ponds filled up, causing homes to flood. Nathan Estates, Cornelius Landing and Roosevelt Avenue had the most damage to homes.

Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford told WAAY 31 they recently spent around $180,000 on a new silent portable pump, piping attachments and concrete to help ease any future flooding.

Right now, the city is testing the new pump out in Nathan Estates. Bradford said the pump can move 4,000 gallons of water per minute, if needed. During February's floods, the city spent well over $500,000 in employee overtime and renting pumps to stop areas from flooding more.

"I guess you could say I feel a little more secure now," said Brady Gregory, whose home flooded in Nathan Estates earlier this year.

Gregory's home and about seven others on Melissa Drive in Nathan Estates are right next to a retention pond that overflowed, flooding their homes. Prior to the rain event, there was no pump in place.

"The past two days, we've had quite a bit of rain flow through here and having that thought in the back of your mind that anything like that could happen again. Having that pump down there definitely eases my mind a little bit. Hopefully, we won't have that situation again," said Gregory.

Bradford said the pump can be moved to respond to emergency areas in case other retention ponds overflow again.

"I think it should give everyone some kind of peace of mind knowing that we have some kind of back up and equipment to take care of that," said Gregory.

The City of Muscle Shoals has not been reimbursed by the federal government for all of the money spent on cleaning up during the floods. Bradford said they're still jumping through FEMA hoops to get that wrapped up. They are also working on a flood mitigation plan with FEMA to identify any other changes that need to be made to stop flooding in the future.

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