Grant helps Pelham clean up Cahaba Valley Creek

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:52 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Cahaba Valley Creek in Pelham is now clean and free of debris after the area was hit with a tornado and then flooding that littered the creek in 2021.

Before the creek was cleaned up, city officials say they couldn’t even hear the water flowing it was so quiet.

Director of Development Services and Public Works for the City of Pelham, Andre Bittas, said, “Fast forward to January 2023, the water is now flowing 50 percent faster than it was in November.”

New funding helped leaders get the creek cleaned up.

“The damage or debris caused by the tornado, that was really the reason to allow us to get a grant to clean up the debris from the creek,” Bittas said.

The creek was declared a presidential disaster, and the city received grant money from the USDA to help with the cleanup, but part of the deal meant cleaning it all up in 285 days.

“We hired a contractor, they came in, did a good job, did it quickly and removed all the debris. About 60 to 90 days,” Bittas said.

Work began on the cleanup back in November and, overall, 91 truckloads of debris were removed.

“This area along the creek is in the flood zone, the flood hazard area. Anything in the creek that can obstruct water flow and could cause some localized flooding,” Bittas said. “It was important for us to come in and remove all the debris to ensure that it doesn’t have any effect on flooding in these neighborhoods.”

To get into parts of the creek that are on private property city leaders had to get the okay from the homeowners.

The City of Pelham will soon host a community meeting educating home and property owners along the Cahaba Valley Creek on their responsibilities in maintaining the area.

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