FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Since the late 1990s, Fairfield Place subdivision in Fairhope has often seen flooding from Cowpen Creek when it rains.
The creek runs right up against the subdivision. Vicki McEwan is a Fairfield resident and has lived in the subdivision for over thirteen years. McEwan has experienced flooding on her property.
“We had the water come halfway up to our house, I mean it was really close. we have a barbeque, we have a deck down by the creek, and it was all underwater,” McEwan said.
FEMA updated flood maps back in 2019 to include some of the homes in the neighborhood in a designated flood zone, meaning they are required to have flood insurance, which wasn’t the case when many residents moved in.
City of Fairhope Building Official Erik Cortinas said that this has been an issue for years and it’s time the city helps out with it.
“Now this is affecting the adjacent properties, they now have to buy flood insurance whereas they didn’t when they built the house, and so we know and have talked to these owners for years, it’s a 20-plus year issue,” Cortinas said.
There are 20 to 30 houses in the designated flood zones that have been regularly impacted.
“When we do have rains, it’s like a torrent river back there and if anything gets caught back there, shrubbery or trash, it can just clog up, get stuck in the rocks which causes all the flooding issues,” McEwan said.
But could be on the way, as city leaders have come up with a plan.
“What we are trying to do is, we want to engage an engineer to do a flood study, and if we can make improvements or improvements can be made, and lower the flood line, there is potential for FEMA grants to help do or to help Fairfield to some of the work that is needed,” Cortinas said.
The city hopes to complete that study and take action within the next few months.