Flooding takes over one Elba daycare
A newly constructed section of the Elba bypass opened last year, but the ongoing project is causing problems for one business on the road.
The Young World of Learning Daycare has stood for 34 years, but just recently is when they started having this problem, water that is ankle-deep, right outside their doors.
“But emotional wise, I’m fed up with it and so are the parents and I don’t want to lose them because of this,” says the daycare’s owner Peggy Carpenter.
A section of the Elba bypass on Alabama Highway 203 runs right in front of Carpenter's daycare.She says the construction has caused several issues.
"I started having them when the roads started getting built. When they were doing the other lane on the other side we got water over in this ditch and it would overflow, and after that when they started on this side of the road it started filling up here," says Carpenter.
Carpenter says since 2017 she has had flooding problems that have affected her children's day to day routines.
“It’s sad for the children that they can’t go out and play because they need that exercise every day and when it’s raining like this and all the water going it takes weeks for our playground to dry off."
That is also causing health concerns.
"Well you don’t want to expose them to mildew and the water and all the germs that come from this, and I don’t even know where all the water comes from. Some of it could be coming off the hill, there could be sewer in there, I don’t know," says Carpenter.
On several occasions, the water has even reached the driveway leaving parents uncertain about where to drive.
"It’s hard for them to just drive under the shelter, they have to drive on the outside cement too in order to get their child out of the car and get them in. I’ve had a parent that had wanted me to reduce his rates so I can’t do that. If I do I’m going to lose my business,” says Carpenter.
Carpenter has called the state a handful of times about the situation.
“She said they did receive the letter but they did nothing. There have been several people that come out and take pictures, they stand out here for hours and talk about it, but they do nothing," says Carpenter.
The drainage problem has Carpenter concerned about the future of her business.
"Well when the state comes to renew our license they have to check everything. They check the playgrounds and there’s not supposed to be water standing. So, I don’t know how I’m going to get rid of that. I don’t know if she'll even give me a license," says Carpenter.
The owner says that she is fed up and just wants a solution to the problems over the years.
Public Information Officer Brantley Kirk with the Alabama Department of Transportation said "they are aware of the issue and have been in constant communication with Ms. Carpenter. ALDOT has and will continue to work with the contractor for temporary measures and is collaborating with designers for a permanent solution. ALDOT is committed to future communications with Ms. Carpenter on a solution to account for the water from the roadway."