Canton city officials seek county help to alleviate flooding


CANTON — Members of the Canton Mayor and Board of Aldermen are asking Madison County supervisors for help in alleviating flooding that has plagued the city for several decades.

Canton Mayor William Truly Jr. told supervisors that Canton sits in a basin of water surrounded by Bachelor Creek, Bear Creek and the Big Black River.

“We have a major issue of flooding in the city of Canton that has been present now for approximately 40, 50 or 60 years,” Truly said, adding it does not matter who is in office, they will be blamed for the flooding problem.

Truly said the city has suffered from the flooding, and city officials have reached out to the Corps of Engineers and the Madison County Engineer for help in the past.

“We are here to share our concerns and ask for help,” said Truly, who was flanked by Ward 4 Canton Alderwoman Daphne Sims and Ward 5 Alderman Timothy Taylor. “We would like to try to enter into a collaborative agreement to eradicate the flooding.”

Specifically, Truly asked for the county’s help in clearing drainage channels, replacing drainage pipes and performing a comprehensive drain analysis with projected construction costs.

“The city is financially unable to meet these challenges,” Truly said. 

Madison County Engineer Tim Bryan told supervisors some of the flood remediation problems are along parts of Bachelor Creek from King Ranch Road to I-55.

“We’ve had extreme difficulties getting access to property,” Bryan said, adding some of the landowners will not let county equipment on their property to clear out Bachelor Creek to improve drainage in the area.

Board of Supervisors President Karl Banks of District 4 also said access to private land has been a hindrance to the county’s efforts to eliminate flooding and that the county is working on a countywide watershed study.

“We are looking at all water problems countywide,” Banks said. “We are studying it, and it could take a couple of years.”

In the interim, Banks said supervisors would work with Canton to try to alleviate the city’s flooding problems.

“Right now the problem with the flooding in areas of Canton is because we need to clean out some of the creeks,” Banks said. “Some of the landowners on the farmland need to let us get equipment in to clean out those creeks to slow down or eliminate some of the flooding.”

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