Arlington Businesses Anxious About Rainy Forecast After Being Damaged by Flooding

Obbie Anuwe goes through a routine every day he comes to work. He opens all the doors to air it out, breaks out the bleach, and starts cleaning.

"See, this is mud," Anuwe said scraping his foot along the floor of his 13,000 foot warehouse. "This is all muddy water."

When 8-inches of rain fell September 21, nearly 3 feet of water rushed from the swollen Johnson Creek into Anuwe's embroidery and silk screen printing business. 

"I don't have a business right now," Anuwe said looking at his damaged stock and equipment. "I dont' know if there's any meter that can read my level of frustration."

Anuwe and some other business and property owners on Gay Street believe the recently completed Johnson Creek bridge project had an impact on the flood. The City of Arlington raised the road and widened the creek bed upstream from the businesses on Gay Street.

"My neighbor has been there 40 years, and they've never seen anything like it," Anuwe explained.

Several shops along Gay Street were still cleaning up Monday afternoon, more than two weeks after the flood. Other businesses had red tags from the fire department, or signs that said 'moved due to flooding'. 

NBC 5 asked the city about the Johnson Creek bridge project, but a spokesperson's email response didn't address that. The statement read, in part, "...Under the City's Flood Damage Prevention Code, properties within a flood plain that suffer substantial damage totaling more than 25 percent of the building's market value must meet certain requirements before being able to reopen. The city is working with affected property owners to obtain necessary documentation so they can reopen in compliance with the Flood Damage Prevention Code."

Monday afternoon Anuwe listened to the rain beat on his metal roof, and worried. "I haven't even cleaned up the mess it's made," Anuwe lamented. "And already the rain is coming."

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