Vestavia Hills business owner frustrated by creek floods - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Vestavia Hills business owner frustrated by creek floods

Source: WBRC Source: WBRC
VESTAVIA HILLS, AL (WBRC) -

People know Hollywood Imports in Vestavia Hills for its fast cars and high-end brands, but since a July flash flood it has been anything, but that for the owner.

“We’ve been focusing on insurance claims, attorneys, media,” Michael Schefano said.

Heavy rains on July 26 filled Patton Creek, pushing debris to block water flow at Highway 31, forcing water beyond the banks and into businesses like Schefano’s.

“Someone has to do something. Someone has to keep these bridges cleaned up. We pay taxes and expect people to maintain these areas,” he said.

To prove his point, he surveyed the condition of the creek three weeks after the flooding in his amphibious ATV.

Along the way, he pointed out a dumpster under the Highway 31 bridge, remnants from the flash flood. A trailer could be found, submerged in the creek water between Highway 31 and where the creek crosses underneath Columbiana Road. Once at Columbiana Road, he pointed to trees and debris appearing to block two of the four culverts.

“No one comes to clean it out and whatever else it brings, it turns that bridge into a dam and starts flooding 31,” Schefano said. “When that's all clean, this creek flows fine. When left untouched and unmaintained, you have severe issues.”

The Vestavia Hills City Manager, Jeff Downes pointed out Patton Creek is private property. He said the creek crossings at Highway 31 and Columbiana Road are publicly maintained, but the creek itself is not. He said the City works closely with ALDOT and Jefferson County to keep the culverts clean on a regular maintenance schedule.

Schefano said he hopes to sell the property, move his operation to Hollywood Imports smaller lot across the street on higher ground and look for a larger property for the future.

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