by S Lynn Gros for The Highland Park Review

Be proactive stop blaming private property owners for flooding. Just Pick up your shovels and clean your ditches. This ditch maintenance problem is all over Mobile. The County always blames the private property owner when the issue is also a duty to care. Private property owners don’t realize they have a duty to care for their ditches to keep their neighbors from flooding out. If the county owns the ditch then the county needs to clean their ditch out, but that’s not enough because in order for the water to flow freely the private property owner needs to be responsible for cleaning their ditch out too. It would be a chain reaction for the good if everyone worked together on this. But the fact is everyone is neglecting their responsibility to clean their ditches so the water backs up on the property that was meant to drain the land. So, there is a duty to care under Alabama State Law on an individual case by case basis. So what do we all do? Identify the owners of the ditches and incentivize Mr and Mrs John Doe to clean out their ditches before flooding occurs. When the land floods due to a clogged ditch “incentivize” the neighbor who is not maintaining their ditches to want to clean them by giving them a ticket or a reward for cleaning them. Mobile needs a ditch maintenance season where everyone takes three months of cooler weather and dig those ditches because “The world needs ditch diggers too.” ~Caddyshack Once everyone is on the same page regarding watershed law and maintenance required for ditches then people will begin to see changes for the better. And it needs to be a City/County/State effort the same as we do anti mosquito campaigns and litter campaigns. This too is where public education comes in. We need a public education blitz on this issue. We do not need the municipalities beating back flooded property owners saying “We can’t do anything it’s private property.” Let’s call for a Moratorium on all grant monies for watershed clean up until this critical infrastructure problem is tackled. Maybe that will wake up Casi Callaway Chief Resiliency Officer, Mobile Baykeeper, Dog River ClearWater Revival and all those taking in Millions of dollars for Creek restoration to wake up to the biggest clean water problem of all here in Mobile which is the failure of the Duty to Care and ignorance of watershed ditch maintenance and how to properly care for a ditch. The City could make it a finable offense the same as long grass offenses, falling down blighted building offenses etc. The county could pass an environmental ordinance to make it finable to have a clogged ditch. Sit down and work it out because there is plenty of grant money available for this issue to support the cost of maintenance if USFW, EPA, ADEM and others would quit awarding taxpayer monies for boat parties along the Dog River Watershed. 😀 by S Lynn Gros, citizen journalist for The HIghland Park Review

Some Mobile County residents address drainage concerns with