FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – Heavy rainfall and flash flooding are creating problems in Baldwin County, and not just on the roads.
“As hot as the housing market is right now and as fast growing as Baldwin County is, it’s a major issue in Baldwin County,” said Cade Kistler with Mobile Baykeeper.
Mobile Baykeeper, the environmental watchdog group in our area, is monitoring several areas this week where storms are to blame for runoff washing downhill from construction sites. That runoff is sending clay and mud into nearby waterways like Fish River.
“These homes are popping up as fast as they can and you worry about quality, but you really worry about from our perspective the impacts to the environment when these contractors are running and gunning and not doing what they’re supposed to,” Kistler said.
It’s important to note the homes shown are just an example of what many new neighborhoods across Baldwin County look like right now. Barriers are in place to stop the runoff, but that’s not the case everywhere in the county. With so much rain falling at once over the last couple of weeks it’s becoming a widespread problem, the group says.
“A lot of time the state doesn’t have enough enforcement. They’re not strong enough. They send a nicely worded warning letter that doesn’t get those contractors to comply,” added Kistler.
That’s why Mobile Baykeeper is checking on sites regularly and taking water quality samples this week in south Baldwin County, addressing issues as they surface.
“Fish River, Magnolia River, Bon Secour. It kills off grass beds which are an important habitat and it makes it to where some of the fish we like to catch the most don’t do very well. They can get stressed out and even get killed if there’s enough mud running through that creek,” he said.
Kistler tells WKRG News 5 a big area the group is watching is along Boggy Branch, where sediment pollution is an ongoing issue.
The group is asking anyone noticing an issue to call Mobile Baykeeper so they can add the location to their watch list.