Flooding concerns force woman from home in Hoover

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:27 AM CST
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s been over a year since historic flooding damaged homes and property in Hoover. One woman who’s still dealing with it had to move out of her home for safety reasons. She says the city needs to take care of it.

When the heavy rains come, Kaitlin Callaway knows what’s going to happen to her property in Sulphur Springs in Hoover. Her steps turn into a waterfall and spill in her driveway. Everything piles up and leaves a big mess to say the least. Callaway has been dealing with this since 2021 when historic flooding did a number on her backyard.

“It’s just hard to watch water from an area that you can’t fix,” Callaway said.

Video from 2021 shows water rushing onto Callaway’s property. At the time, her husband Allen told us a huge sinkhole had been marked by the city in his backyard and said it’s been on the books for at least 3 years. He also said there’s a large pipe that drains city road runoff into a ditch that runs onto the property. Callaway said the pipe was clogged causing extensive damage to his property. He took his concerns to city leaders.

“That sinkhole is directly what has been dumping silt, and mud, and rocks, and debris into the drain north of my property or elevated above my property and it’s just washing away everything,” Allen Callaway said in 2021.

The Callaway’s initially applied for help from FEMA but were denied. At that point, Kaitlin was also going through a divorce and they were trying to figure out what to do with the house. They couldn’t sell it because of the flooding issues. Kaitlin says the city did eventually fix the sinkhole which took a few months, but her backyard continues to flood.

“Of course during that time it rained a ton. It was pretty bad. I luckily have a lot of family that helps me so they essentially had to buy me a house to live in because I could no longer live here with my two small children,” Callaway said.

She’s afraid her back deck may collapse so that’s why she moved out. Since March of 2022, Callaway says not much has changed. She tells us the city did attempt to survey the land over the summer.

“The results of the survey were like essentially we cannot fix it,” Callaway said.

Callaway tells us the city did survey the property again in the fall, but she hasn’t received the results yet.

“If I could have sold this house this past summer, I would have made a lot of money. It’s a big house. We did a lot of renovations to it. I continue to pay mortgage on this house that I cannot live in. I can’t rent it. I’m stuck,” Callaway said.

With nowhere else to turn, she called Six On Your Side Investigates for help. We reached out to the city.

“Although the damage and the pipe that are causing the drainage issues are on private property, the City of Hoover is evaluating the impact it has had or could have on Sulphur Springs Road, which is a City street. City representatives met last week about the issue and the City’s attorney’s office will be in touch with the property owner within a few days,” Allan Rice, Hoover’s city administrator said.

“I really want to see somebody come in and take responsibility for this. I mean I didn’t mess up this pipe. This isn’t something that any of my neighbors did. This is poor infrastructure,” Callaway said.

Callaway is hoping the situation is finally resolved soon so she can move on with her life.

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