Clogged drains causing flooding

Al and Valerie Finley thought they were coming home to their Crestview Street residence to relax, but clogged drains caused their home to nearly flood.

“It was real scary because we didn’t know that much water had come up, we were like ‘Oh my God,’ and we thought we were coming home to relax,” said Valarie Finley.

The water rose so high in the Finley’s yard that the couple had to spend a night with relatives. They said their problem with water drainage seems to be repeating. 

Water drainage problems plagued much of Opelika, because of heavy rains that brought on flash flooding and damage.

“The city of Opelika received approximately 6 inches, which is a lot for our area. Normally six inches is good for a month supply there,” said Chris Tate, Communication Officer, Lee County Emergency Agency.

The large amount of water put a strain on storm drains and pipes.  City engineer, Scott Parker says the city pipes don’t seem to be the problem. However, the upkeep of the storm drains has created some issues which the city says it cannot handle alone.

“The city does what we can, but we also depend on citizens to do that as well,” said Parker.

The city regularly checks and clears drains, but officials say they need citizen’s help to keep the drains clear, and water moving.

“So, grass clippings, if they pile up on the side of the roads, don’t pile them up near the storm drain itself, waiting on someone in the city to come pick it up, and then it goes into the storm drain and then it clogs,” said Parker.

As for the Finley’s, they thought these problems were behind them.

“I thought they had corrected this problem the last time….but it was a drainage problem.”

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