Meeting in Bessemer addresses flooding concerns and possible solutions

Even before tornadoes hit Bessemer in late April, people were already dealing with a flooding problem. The Pipe Shop community has been badly impacted because it's a low lying area.City leaders and residents tackled the problem."I came around to the front porch. Stood on the edge of the front porch and saw boats going up and down the road. It's real scary."A different picture... "Just like my house was sitting in a lake." ... just a few weeks ago at James Cochran's house here on 21st Avenue."The water came up to here. If it came up to here, it would have been inside the house."And that's happened before.Cochran says flooding has been a problems for years. Gail Harris says, "There's a concern about health because of mold. The insects are really larger this time because of the creek water."Homeowners met at Antioch Baptist Church where city, county and state leaders vowed to work together.Jefferson County Commissioner, Sandra Little Brown, says "I'm going to stay in touch with the mayor and organizations.We're going to help provide with information so they can be proactive and get problem fixed."Many ideas on a solution..{} up for discussion.Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley "One as a temporary fix we need to dredge the creek. That would alleviate some of the problem. Two,{} if we want to raise the houses.{} And of course a{} buy out is an option as well,{} building a levee." Cochran says "I just hope one day, this will be solved because I've been living here 28 years and it's scary."Many people did say they would be interested in a buy out. Representative Terri Sewell is talking with the Army Corps of Engineers about a feasibility study and residents definitely want a follow-up progress report.