Shopping cart in storm drain causes flooding in Bessemer

Shopping cart in storm drain causes flooding in Bessemer
A shopping cart that was stuck in a storm drain causes flooding in Bessemer. (Source: City of Bessemer)

BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - In her 60 years of living just off 5th Avenue North in Bessemer, Mary Fields has never seen it flood like it did on Monday.

"I wonder if we are just going to have to get out, because I’ve never seen water this high. I started to panic because I was like guess we’ll need a boat to get out of here,” Fields said.

All that water came from a nearby storm drain that was clogged by … a shopping cart!

Mary made a few calls to the city. On Tuesday, crews removed it. It was covered in leaves and other debris. It’s now sitting back behind the 4th Avenue Market, which is next door to where Mary lives. That’s more than likely where it came from.

"Why was it in there? And why it took you so long to find it? Because if they were cleaning or fixing the ditch, it would have been out,” Fields said.

The city says from time to time they clean the drains in anticipation of heavy rains. Over the years, they’ve removed sticks and bags from storm drains but never a cart. The city says water has never backed up this much in that area.

"It is important that residents work with us and help us keep these drains and ditches clean so that things don’t get clogged up when we have heavy rains like yesterday,” said Toraine Norris with the city of Bessemer.

Mary’s yard is still drying out. She says the last thing she wants to see again is a lake in her front yard.

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