Avondale businesses worried over continued flooding on 41st Stre

Avondale businesses worried over continued flooding on 41st Street South

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A still image taken from Coby Lake's cell phone video of the flooding. Source: Coby Lake A still image taken from Coby Lake's cell phone video of the flooding. Source: Coby Lake
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Avondale business owners are frustrated after the latest round of flooding on 41st Street South.

"It was essentially a river down at the corner of 41st [Street South] and 1st [Avenue North]," Coby Lake, co-owner of Avondale Brewing Company, said.

Lake shot cell phone video of what it looked like outside his business on Sunday. Heavy rainfall caused the street to flood yet again.

"I've seen it constantly getting worse and worse," Lake said.

And it's not just water, according to Lake. He says the sewage system also backs up and it has nowhere to go but into the street because of drainage issues.

"The drainage system works, it gets overwhelmed," Don Lupo with the City of Birmingham said.

Lupo says part of the problem is a clogged ditch or culvert that's leased by A.T.N. River Railway. It's full of silt and debris.

"We have written the railroad company many times asking for their help in cleaning their ditch...asked them if they're not going to clean it, let us clean it. We've either not gotten a response or they've not been positive responses," Lupo said.

The flooding is also causing traffic problems. All the water caused part of 41st Street South between the train tracks to collapse.

"As you can see this part of road dropped at least 14 inches," Lupo said.

That section of the road was closed Monday and it will be for several weeks until it's repaired.

Lake says Sunday's flooding was the worst he's seen. His fear is that one day his business may flood and it's a chance he can't take.

"If it's not fixed everyone will be forced to leave including the brewery. Myself and others have invested millions down here to help renovate this area," Lake said.

Lake says he actually spoke to someone with A.T.N. River Railway Monday, which is based in Gadsden. He was told the company would clean out and maintain that ditch.

Justin Smith with the Jefferson County Manager's Office says he's not aware of a sewage back up issue in Avondale, but he says he'll look into it.

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