Ashford gets FEMA Grant to Repair Drainage System

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ASHFORD, AL--"Where the concrete is laying right there it had washed out," explained Ashford Mayor Jonathan Grecu.

To residents, not only is this an eyesore, it's a threat to their home and everything they own.
Heavy rains in February flooded neighborhoods and left a disaster.

"It's terrible because the families they're like what do you do, what can you do, said Mayor Grecu, you're watching water rising you have no control over it, this gives us some control."

On Thursday, city and county leaders announced the city was awarded a $589,000 mitigation grant from FEMA.

"It feels like for the first time in a long time we're able to get something that we're due," said Mayor Grecu.

Officials say they applied for the grant 3 years ago.

"It is ridiculous that fema took three years to approve the grant," said Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver.

Culver credits Congresswoman Martha Roby's office with pushing the issue.

"I don't believe if they had that FEMA would have ever got it off their desk."

The project involves improving drainage you see hear at this cross section on Bruner Street and five other cross sections throughout the city.

"We're going to remove old smaller pipes and replace it with larger pipes to carry the flow of water faster basically the roads act like dams, the water runs up to the roads and backs up and floods people's houses," said Houston County Engineer Barkley Kirkland.

"Majority of the flooding that we've had over the last four years will be eliminated," said Mayor Grecu.

That includes Mercier drive and the downtown area.

Mayor Grecu says they have three years to complete the project.
He says once bids are in work will begin immediately.

The county plans to bid on the project.
If they get it, it will create local construction jobs.

Crews will repair Mercier, Northwood, and Stonegate Drives, Main and Bruner Streets, and 1st Avenue.

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