Thursday, July 19, 2001

Flooded businesses forced to close


Sharonville among areas hit hardest

By Anya Rao
Enquirer Contributor

        Heavy rains that swept through the Tristate late Tuesday and early Wednesday left an array of businesses with flooded floors and closed doors.

        Sharonville was one of the areas hit hardest. Many employees of Sharonville businesses, such as Becker Electrical Supply on Kemper Road, had to park on nearby streets and rely on trucks and SUVs to shuttle them to work because of flooding on Mosteller Road.

[photo] A row of cars that had been moved to apparent safety are partly submerged at the General Mills plant in Sharonville.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        While the electrical-supply store remained untouched by flooding, more than 4 feet of water surrounded the building.

        “The water was level with our dock. It's literally like an island here,” said manager Brett Patterson.

        The business opened despite the flooding, but with only a skeleton crew, Mr. Patterson said.

        Other businesses were not so lucky. Employees at Hafer Drayage Inc., a trucking company on Kemper Road, were wading through 6 feet of water. Six of 10 trucks were damaged by the flood. President and owner Mike Fitzgibbons said he plans to reopen today with half of his fleet in service.

        “I anticipate that we will lose a day and a half of business because of this,” he said.

        Rexel, an electrical supply company on Kemper Road, also closed to deal with a foot of water inside. Branch manager Terry Rabanus said the store hoped to open today.

        Another Kemper Road business estimates the storm damage will cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars. Continental, a mineral-processing company, experienced flooding in its office, warehouse and plants, said chief executive Al Grogan.

        Continental was fully staffed Wednesday, but all workers, including Mr. Grogan, devoted the day to cleaning up.

        Mill Creek runs behind the property and has flooded before, but this was the worst, Mr. Grogan said. He said the creek can't deal with runoff from all the businesses in the growing area.

        For companies dealing with wa ter damage, business was brisk.

        Accu-Dry Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning in Loveland had so many calls from all over the Tristate that it started a waiting list.

        “We have been dealing with 35 to 40 calls, when we usually get a call for water-damage cleanup every once in awhile,” said Marjorie Newman of Accu-Dry.

        Fallen trees spurred many calls to local tree-removal services. But the most recent storm produced fewer calls than another large storm July 8, which had higher winds.

        “We had more calls last storm, but these seem to be more severe with more whole trees going down,” said Andrea Clair, office manager for Bartlett Tree Experts.

        Another tree service, Madison Tree in Milford, was responding to calls although there was a power failure at its office.

        The Sharonville Allstate insurance office was busy, with policyholders reporting roof damage, backed-up sewers and flooding in their homes and vehicles.

        “I really feel for these people,” said Bobbie Johnson of Allstate. “I've been asking them to be patient with us because we have been bombarded with calls.”
       



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