LEIGHTON — Colbert County Road Department employees stood by Tuesday as a large pump removed muddy brown water blocking access to homes on Cassie Davis Street off Marthaler Lane.
The pumping was necessary after 2 inches of rain fell Monday night.
The Road Department had to block Marthaler Lane to through traffic for much of the day, which allowed the water to be pumped through a 6 inch flexible pipe from one side of the road to the other.
The flooding issue has become a thorn in the side of the Road Department, which recently purchased a small corner of property at the intersection of Cassie Davis Street and Marthaler Lane that includes a sinkhole.
County Engineer Jeremy Robison said he hoped the sinkhole would help drain water that runs off farmland adjacent to Cassie Davis Street. On Tuesday, all that could be seen was a fence that was erected around the sinkhole, but it didn't appear any water was draining.
Robison said he suspects the sinkhole is not draining properly because the water table is so high.
"I've talked to people about other sinkholes and they're not draining well," he said. "(Tuesday) we had to talk to an adjoining landowner to pump water on his property, and he was very kind to let us do that. We really appreciate his willingness to work with us."
Calandra Fuqua, who lives in one of the five residences on Cassie Davis Street and the only one that has flooded, said she spoke to Robison on Monday night. She said she speaks frequently to the county engineer about the issue.
Fuqua said Robison told her they located a pump in Birmingham, but it wouldn't be in place until morning. He called back and said they found one in Decatur and that it would be in place at 9 a.m. Tuesday
"He was a man of his word and he was here by 9 a.m.," Fuqua said.
Still, she's frustrated that a solution to the flooding cannot be found.
Fuqua and her father, Thomas, are convinced there is an old metal drainage pipe beneath Marthaler Lane that once allowed water from her side of the road to flow to the farmland on the other side. She's been told that a landowner had the pipe blocked.
"There's not any crops on that side of the road," she said.
Thomas Fuqua told the TimesDaily in December a sinkhole on the other side of Marthaler Lane drains that land quickly. He would like to see the Road Department install a new culvert to drain water from Cassie Davis Street and his property.
Robison said even that sinkhole was draining slowly Tuesday.
Fuqua said hers is the only house on the street that has flooded. On Tuesday, it was dry inside, but water was up to the front door and in the carport.
She said the next house on the street is occupied by her uncle, and the next by his son and his wife. A third residence is a mobile home belonging to her cousin, and the last house is occupied by Harvey Davis.
While the county has other flooding issues, Robison said Cassie Davis Street is the one that has the most impact on county residents. Robison said the Road Department continues to work towards a solution.
"We can't get garbage, we can't get mail," Fuqua said. "My dad is on the Meals on Wheels program. We can't get Meals on Wheels. It's ridiculous. We're taxpayers, too. There's no reason we should have to suffer with this."