North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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April 8, 2014

Breach in detention-pond dam leads to flooding on Fieldstown Road, dispute with council


A breach in a dam at a detention pond led to flooding along Fieldstown Road on Monday, and a contentious public discussion between Gardendale officials and the head of a homeowner’s association that evening.

The breach occurred in the Lexington Park subdivision in the western section of the city. The detention pond was originally designed to handle storm runoff, and allow it to drain at a controlled rate. The pond is adjacent to The Cottages, another subdivision that runs alongside Fieldstown Road across from the Clemons Recreational Complex.

The extremely heavy rainfall Sunday night and Monday morning was more than a backup overflow pipe could handle, according to city inspector Robert Ryant. That resulted in water running through the breach and through a culvert under homes and streets in The Cottages, eventually flooding Fieldstown Road.

“We had this same thing happen back in September,” Ryant said.

The pond originally had a 48-inch pipe installed to drain away storm water. The pipe became clogged because it was not properly maintained, Ryant said, and an additional 10-inch siphon pipe was installed as a backup.

“When the water rises, it’s supposed to push the water up into the pipe like a siphon, and then gravity takes over,” Ryant said. “But it couldn’t handle all that [storm water] from Monday.”

Ryant and other city officials met with board members of the Lexington Park Homeowners Association during the day Monday to discuss the pond’s problems. The discussion carried over to the work session held before Monday night’s Gardendale City Council meeting, and became testy at times.

At one point, Daniel Courington — the acting president of the homeowners' association — publicly accused Ryant of lying about calls to and from the association. Courington’s accusation brought a rebuke from Council President Stan Hogeland.

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