Weekend storms damaged roads

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, July 13, 2022

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VALLEY — A Saturday afternoon rainstorm that dumped over four-and-a-half inches of rain over the local area caused some significant road and property damage in the City of Valley.

Public Works Director Patrick Bolt reported on the damage done to roads in the city at Monday’s meeting of the Valley City Council.

He said that four or five roads were flooded Saturday afternoon. They are now passable, but some extensive work will be in order for them to be in good condition for the long term.

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Langdale Meadow in front of city hall was flooded on Saturday, causing the junction of Fob James Drive and Highway 29 to be temporarily closed.

Repairing the damage to roads will keep the Public Works Department busy for some time. Bolt told the council that debris washed in by the flood had been removed from 24th Avenue and Public Works had to do some digging up work off King Road near Keith’s Transmission. A number of washed-out places have been dealt with.

Some storm drains that were washed away will have to be replaced. This could be rather expensive. Bolt estimated that it could cost $70,000 to repair one place. There could be some major expense in repacing 72-inch in diameter corrugated pipes that need to go under some roads in the city. They need to be 240 feet in length and could cost in the neighborhood of $175,000. There will also be a big expense in having those pipes transported.

Bolt noted another potential problem: “There are always unforeseen problems when you dig,” he said.

61st Street near Langdale School had some gutters wash away. There has been a lot of work going on there in recent months in putting in new water and sewer lines.

Council Member Jim Clark gave his mailman, Chris Sims, some credit for saving some puppies from drowning in Saturday’s flooding in the Shawmut community.

Several other penned in animals were saved from the rising water with Clark and Sims working together to save them.

Some private and commercial property owners in the city have filed claims to collect damages from Saturday’s flooding.

Clark commended the Valley Parks & Recreation staff for the way they dealt with hosting a tournament during Saturday’s deluge. The rain caused most of Saturday’s games to be postponed. The games on Friday and Sunday went off without incident.

“People I talked to who were from out of town said good things about our facilities and the way our staff ran the tournament,” Clark said.

A swim tournament that was scheduled to be at Valley Community Center was moved to Opelika.

Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount said that Valley teams did well in the weekend girls softball tournament.

The 12 & under team finished second and the 10 & under and 8 & under teams advanced in the tournament before being defeated. Valley had an 8 & under team in the boys state tournament in Tuscaloosa. They won three games before falling.

Blount told the council that things had gone well in Friday afternoon’s annual Free Tomato Sandwich Day at Valley Farmers Market. She said there had been a good turnout and that an estimated 250 tomato sandwiches were served.

Blount added that Free Slice of Watermelon Day would be taking place at the Farmers Market on Friday, Aug. 12.

Police Chief Mike Reynolds said that two new vehicles had arrived at the police department and would soon be in service. The police radios need to be added. Another vehicle the police department expects to receive is being held up due to a problem with microchips. Reynolds announced that Officer Ricky Spruill had been named Valley Police Department’s Officer of the Quarter for the period covering April, May and June.  During this three-month period, Officer Spruill answered 165 calls, stopped 134 vehicles, issued 122 citations, wrote 27 warnings and made 86 arrests.

Council Member Jim Jones said he was glad to see some street paving finished on Morgan Street in his district.