Flooding damages roads, several businesses in South End

Business owners in Charlotte's South End spent Tuesday cleaning up from flash floods caused heavy downpours Monday.

Along Distribution Street at least four businesses were damaged. The flash flood was so powerful that large chunks of asphalt were washed away from parking lots. 

Business owners told FOX 46 Charlotte this it's not the first time the area has flooded, but it is one of the worst.

“I think the difference this time is it was much faster and then it stayed around longer,” said Carmen Larreynaga, the owner of a local pet supply shop.

Before Larreynaga could clean up the mess in her store she had to move a large dumpster, which floated away and blocked the front door. A wood ramp that was at that door also floated across the street.

The City of Charlotte was apparently already aware of the flooding problem in the area

“We have been talking to them since 2017. That is when we were told it wasn’t really a high priority to come and clean the drains and fix the drains because it cannot support all the construction around here in South End,” said Larreynaga.

Flooding not only damaged businesses, but cars just trying to find a way home.

“I put my car in park because there were people behind me and I sat there for 30 minutes and watched numerous cars go through it. Some made it and some didn’t,” said Jenna Gribble, who was stuck on Ideal Way just off South Blvd.

Carmen Larreynaga lost a car as well in her parking lot.

“I mean you know what can we do? We knew it was going to happen. I was stressing out last night about mainly moving the trash can because that big old trash can was right here,” she said.

FOX 46 reached out to Mecklenburg County Stormwater Services to see if there are any plans in place to fix the flooding problem in that area. They released the following statement: 

  • Areas uptown and southward toward Freedom Park and to the intersection of Scaleybark Road and South Boulevard received intense rains yesterday evening. Preliminary rain gage total measurements ranged from about 0.89 to about 1.24 inches. This amount of rain fell within approximately 40 minutes and at times was very intense. 
  • Storm Water Services is 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.