GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA - The City of Gulf Shores has made strides towards fixing their problems with flooding.
Officials said a major downpour in 2006 brought the issue to their attention, causing water to flow into homes.
Now, they're near the end of construction on an extensive drainage system.
Mike Frazier has lived around 7th Street in Gulf Shores for years. That's long enough to see some of the worst rainfall the area has to offer.
Frazier said he watched as home after home flooded during a rain storm in 2006.
“We had water over the yard. The ditch overflowed and I had water up on my porch. It didn’t get in my house but it was within an inch or so. So it was concerning,” said Frazier.
The issue led city officials to spend $1.2 million on a new drainage system.
Gulf Shores City Works Director Mark Acreman said they began with expanding ditches near 5th Street.
Another similar project on 7th Street is about to wrap up.
“What we have now are two large, upgraded outfall ditches that can accommodate 250 acres of runoff,” Acreman said.
Officials said many of the ditches connect and flow under canal road, pouring out into the Intracoastal Waterway, which they said can handle the significant issues of flooding.
The true test would come in the form of a tropical storm or hurricane which could raise water levels significantly.
Acreman said he believes the ditches have helped.
“I think we would have seen local flooding as a result of that rainfall. We saw rainfall every day for the last two months. So I feel like we made a difference with these two projects,” said Acreman.
Frazier, who lives beside one of the ditches, said he hasn’t had any issues since it was built.
“It helps knowing they’re on top of it and trying to take care of it anyway,” said Frazier.
Acreman said he's glad residents recognize their hard work.
“I think it has kept these yards and houses out of harms way and it will continue to do so for years to come,” Acreman said.
Officials said you can help flooding control by not dumping anything into the ditches and alerting city officials if you see anything that could block the flow of water.
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