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Sheffield hopes FEMA grant will help in a flood study

The study would analyze drainage systems on Montgomery Avenue, Birmingham Street, and other problem spots.

Posted: Jan 6, 2020 4:29 PM
Updated: Jan 6, 2020 5:26 PM

The city of Sheffield hopes the federal government will help it pay for a study of flood-prone areas.

In last February's historic flooding in the Shoals, some parts of Sheffield were underwater. The city has applied for a grant with FEMA to pay for 75% of a flood study. The study would review flooding in three areas of the city and see if any improvements could be made to drainage systems to stop flooding in the future. to three flood-prone areas.

The city would pay for 25% of the flood study if it gets the grant from FEMA.

Jennifer Smith is one of the co-owners of David Christopher's a gift shop off of Montgomery Avenue in Sheffield. Last February her business had 2 to 4 feet of water in it. The building was insured but Smith lost about $1million in merchandise that wasn't covered. She believes bad drainage systems near the store caused the flooding.

"We would have probably gotten a few inches in the building but not 2 to 4 feet had all the equipment been working," said Jennifer Smith, co-owner of David Christopher's.

The flood study will cost abut $178,000. Sheffield is able to apply for the grant because of the amount of damage to the city.

"I think that with some engineers' help we could figure out the problem and it wouldn't take that much to figure out the problem then if we could use that money to fix the problem it could change lives," said Smith.

It's unclear when the city will know if it gets the grant for the flood study. Even if the city gets the grant and does the study a fix to flooding problems could be years down the road, according to Mayor Ian Sanford.

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