ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — Although flooding has been a major issue for the Shiloh community in Elba for the last five years when residents say Highway 84 was expanded, four weeks ago they came across another hazard.
A natural gas line is running through the community and just a few feet away from the back side of the home of Timothy Williams.
“My daughter sleeps in the back here and we discovered that this is not like a little gas line that goes to your stove, but this is the main gas line I believe they said it’s about 6,000 PSI running through this pipe,” Williams said.
The Southeast Gas Company marked the trail of the gas line and measured from the home is close to eight feet away.
This along with the damage to the home such as brick cracking and his house sinking two feet already because of the constant flooding the community typically sees during heavy periods of rain — he’s worried this is an explosive risk.
“We’re afraid because the house is coming in the direction of the pipe,” He said. “If it were to go, you don’t know how the soil is I know is wet under there because we are hearing the rafters popping and our concern is this gas line we don’t want to die.”
Williams has Dr. Robert Bullard, known as the “Father of Environmental Justice” who visited last month to look into this issue along with flooding. Dr. Bullard and Williams say this is the only area along the highway with a natural gas line in close proximity to homes.
“That’s an unnecessary risk that needs to be looked at and Southeast Gas needs to work with Williams and the community as it involves safety,” Dr. Bullard said.
He, along with Williams suggests the company look into possible solutions like rerouting if they can or any other mitigation efforts. Most importantly, they want them to hear them out and help as they often feel neglected.
“We have been passed by the state and people just go oh it’s nothing, you wouldn’t live like it if this was a Caucasian neighborhood they would be working on it,” Williams said.
“If we see issues like this, we have to address them,” Dr. Bullard said. “There are federal funds available to Elba, Coffee County and it’s just a matter of awakening and things need to be addressed in a timely fair way.