HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) – It’s been a year since historic flooding hit our state, taking lives and leaving damage behind in many communities, including Hoover. Now, the city is taking more steps to help homeowners and drivers alike.

The city is taking legal action to repair a stormwater pipe. This comes after a city council vote Monday to file paperwork with the court to order the pipe to be repaired.

“There’s been a drainage pipe collapse in a private shopping center,” Hoover City Administrator Allan Rice said. “Unfortunately, that is routing a tremendous amount of stormwater on to Highway 31 and creating flooding. Any time there is a modest rain, Highway 31 floods and has to be shut down for a period of time.”

Rice said the pipe runs underneath Walgreens and Panda Express off U.S. 31 and Lorna Road, calling it a public safety hazard and a public nuisance that causes the highway to flood with a good rainfall. He said it has collapsed over the years, causing flooding more easily, even closing off the drive-thru at Panda Express because the ground is now so unstable.

“We’ve tried to work with ownership to get resolution and that hasn’t happened,” Rice said. “Now we will be able to file with a court and get a court injunction to have these repairs made.”

Both landowners were represented in city council this week – battling in the courts between themselves. One thing they do agree on is the city is equally responsible.

“The city itself is contributing a substantial amount of stormwater runoff into the pipe and the system that has failed,” TREA Riverchase Village Representative Aaron McLeod said.

Rogina Investment Corp. Representative Wilson Green called it a publicly dedicated system.

“We believe it’s inappropriate for the council to call it a public nuisance because it’s frankly the public responsibility,” Green said.

The city ultimately voting to file paperwork with the court to order the pipe to be repaired.

“One way or the other we’ll be able to move forward with a resolution in the coming months,” Rice said.

Rice said the property owners will either have to make the repairs or the city can repair it and get taxpayer money from the property owners.

For homeowners, the city has also launched a FEMA Home Buyout Program for families who continue to have issues with flooding.  The city must apply for grant funding on a homeowner’s behalf.

If you are interested in getting more information contact Justin Marlin at 205-444-7633 or justin.marlin@hooveralabama.gov. The deadline for applications is close of business on October 7.