Businesses grateful for lack of flooding
Published 10:29 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Businesses on North Main Street were prepared for Hurricane Florence to bring flooding and wind damage, but the storm shifted and Suffolk was in the clear.
It was a blessing for businesses by the Kimberly Bridge that there wasn’t much flooding, but it brought a lot of frustration, because they closed for what seemed like no reason.
“The Wednesday and Thursday prior to the storm we had high water, but that was the highest water we had for the duration of the storm,” said Major Signs owner Charlie Dick. “It was the worst when the storm was about 500 miles off the coast. When the storm was actually here, there wasn’t anything at all.”
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Business owners were frustrated that they had closed for nothing, but it didn’t take long for them to realize how grateful they were.
“It was frustrating, but you can’t look at it that way because of the last hurricane that came in 2016,” Dick said. “It was a giant mess and it cost a lot of money. I decided that I wasn’t going to take my chances.”
Hurricane Matthew was forecast to completely miss the area, and Dick wasn’t nearly as prepared for flooding and other damage then. When the storm hit, it hit hard, and it left business owners with thousands of dollars in repairs and lost equipment.
“I just keep watching the news and the different routes,” Dick said. “I kept watching this one so close and prepared to get my building ready.”
Once the course shifted and it looked like the bridge was never going to flood, Dick didn’t even bother to sandbag his building. But he did close on Friday just in case.
“We closed down on Friday, but that was mostly because others were closed down on Main Street,” Dick said. “There just wasn’t any other activity going on, and we didn’t even get any calls.”