Flash flood waters cause damage to South End businesses

Some Charlotte drains overwhelmed by heavy rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Within a matter of minutes, flash flood waters swept across the Charlotte Metro on Monday after heavy rains. At one point, a pet store in South End, Pet Wants, was surrounded by flood waters.

“This was definitely by far the worst," says Pet Wants store owner, Carmen Larreynaga.

The pet store’s been on Distribution Street since 2016.

“Every time it rains, especially summer rains. We know its going to flood," says Larreynaga.

And it did. Flash flood waters got so bad that they surrounded the building.

Flash Flood Waters on DIstribution Street in Charlotte (Source: Carmen Larreynaga)
Flash Flood Waters on DIstribution Street in Charlotte (Source: Carmen Larreynaga)

“The dumpster had moved and floated all the way to our front door," says Larreynaga. “Our products are all exposed and water damage can cause a lot of issues with that.”

At one point, the waters were so high that the water was seat level of a car and then flooded the inside of the car.

“And then it just continued rising up," says Larreynaga. “Last night, I mean it’s come in before but not as much as last night.”

Now, the store and neighboring businesses are in cleanup mode and they want answers from Charlotte’s storm water services about fixing the hazardous issues.

“Every time it would rain, every time it would flood, I’d send them pictures and videos asking them to help us," says Larreynaga. “They mentioned that it was on the project list for 2019 so I emailed them and asked them again last night, where was this fix? Because its happening again.”

Because of the continuous issues, the store owner says they’ve now invested in flood insurance.

Storm Water Services says they are aware of drainage concerns in the Distribution Street area and plans to design and construct a project to reduce the risk of street and structure flooding.

The Distribution Street Storm Drainage Improvement Project is anticipated to start this fiscal year (FY2020).

The first step will be evaluating the conditions of the existing storm drainage system. Once this analysis if finalized, the next step will be to determine what improvements may be necessary.

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