Flood waters damage businesses on Cotanche Street

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - Flood waters rose to the tops of car tires in Uptown Greenville on Sunday, June 9, affecting surrounding businesses and even causing damage.

Local stores on Cotanche Street are recovering from different levels of damage due to rising waters. The city saw more than an inch of rainfall over a three-hour span.

The Bicycle Post had to close down the store to clean up the water. The manager sent a cleaning crew to help assist in fixing the damage.

Chad Thompson is the manager of U. B. E. sports store and he says he's used to his store flooding from time to time. He says the place where he keeps his inventory saw two inches of water. He used a shock vacuum to get rid of the flood water.

"Basically we just got a little water into our stocking room, our damage was minimal. Due to past experiences, we try to be preemptive as...you know, keeping our inventory off the floors and in tubs," Thompson said.

The city is working on a new 35 million dollar project called town creek covert which is expected to prevent this kind of flooding, but it's not complete.

Brock Letchworth, the P.I.O. for the city of Greenville said, "The problem is, we have the old infrastructure in place running along Reade Street up to, kind of, the courthouse area... the federal courthouse. So, that's not able to handle the type of rain that we got yesterday in such a short amount of time."

Thompson says the project is long overdue and hopes it will be a solution.

"Probably something that should have happened years ago, but you know, I do think it's going to be very beneficial for situations like this," Thompson said.

Trace Oglesby is an ECU student studying geology who lives across the street from where the flooding happened. He also works at Chico's, which was also affected by the flood. He says the drainage project could help if executed properly.

"A good drainage project would make sure to not just get the water out but to keep the dirt out. So, I hope they do something like that. And not just get a drainage project that'll just clog back up and make the project worse than it was," Oglesby said.

Letchworth says the city will be working with the NCDOT to update water drainage on Dickenson Avenue as well and is doing their best to make the infrastructure improvement as quickly as they can.