Army Corp of Engineers to begin flooding study in JeffCo

Valley Creek flooding study

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A three day meeting wrapped up at the Bessemer Civic Center Wednesday as work begins on trying to solve Jefferson County’s flooding problems in the western area caused by Valley Creek.

In late September, the 20/59 Travel Center in Brighton was flooded after heavy rains hit the area. “Had to shut down the store. All the customers were mad. It was a flood for like a few hours,” said Amin Ali, owner of the 20/59 Travel Center.

Other parts of the city including Brighton also had flood problems. “We had a flood that had rescues form the trailer park in Brighton and Main Street flooded,” said Rhonda Bean, the Mayor Pro-Tem of Brighton.

The area has received a $3 million grant that will allow the Army Corp of Engineers to study the problem caused by Village Creek and hopefully provide some answers. This is expected to take up to three years.

“About ten miles of Village Creek through Birmingham and Bessemer and surrounding communities is a serious flooding threat,” said John Goathaus, Chief of the Resource Water Planning Service of the US Army Corp of Engineers.

The recommendations for fixing the problem are not expected to be cheap. “The flood problem is complex in urban areas. There is a lot of utilities and bridges, infrastructure and investment. It’s not always feasible,” Goathaus said.

So what happens next? The Army Corp of Engineers will work on a study of the economic impact and cost of flooding damage for the affected areas.

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