Midland Store Owners Upset About Street Flooding That's Damaging Their Businesses

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND--  A Tall City street, known for problems with pot holes in the past, is getting a bad rap again, for flooding problems.

It's costing several Midland business owners, thousands of dollars in damages. 

Now, they're asking the city to help.

The tenants NewsWest 9 spoke to at Midkiff Business Center on Midkiff and Industrial say, this isn't the first time their stores have been flooded.  They also say, this isn't the first time, they've asked the city to do something about it.

According Mark Wendler, owner of Basin Billiards, "It's going to be a major expense to order new legs for these tables and get them 100%.  But, it's not the first time we've had to do it, thanks to the city."

Basin Billiards opened it's doors a little over 20 years ago.  Wendler says, there's been one time, before now, the flooding has been this bad.  Landlords have done everything they can to keep it from happening again.

"The city has been notified several times.  I think they even met with the City Engineer at one point, but nothing has been done," Wendler explained.

John Sikes Johnson, with Scott Hagee Heat and Air Conditioning says, he's looking at a pretty big bill for damages and lost work, "We're probably looking at about $20,000, as it stands right now, and it's going to take us a couple of days to get everything back in operation."

Darin Rapp, owner of Chem-Dry, is doing a lot of the clean-up around the center, but it's kind of ironic as to how he got the job.

"This is my shop and it was flooded so, I came down here and got started on it and the landlords (the Fenders) asked me to go ahead and get the water out of all the offices," he explained.

According to David Smith, his business, Smith's Signs has lost about $3,000 in materials and another $2,000 or $3,000 worth of damaged signs, ordered by customers.

Smith says, in the eight years he's been a tenant, he doesn't remember it being this bad, "I know that it used to rain even heavier and we didn't have any problem.  It just seems that in the last two years is when we've had the problems."

Midland City Engineer, Rene Franks says unfortunately there isn't much the city can do, since Midkiff and Industrial are in a natural flood zone that existed before the city was developed.

According to Franks, "If there are maintenance issues, we need to find out what they are and resolve them.  I have looked extensively at things that could be done to improve the flooding conditions in this area.  I do have one idea that hasn't been implemented yet."

Aside from damage costs and lost income from being closed, these business owners are going to get bit one more time as their insurance wont pay.

"We just have to eat it.  You can get flood insurance, but nobody anticipated having this many floods in this short, period of time, where the insurance would even be beneficial to have," Wendler explained.

Business owners are asking the City of Midland to do what ever they can to help, if and when things get this bad again.  With more rain expected over the next few days, they're afraid they haven't seen the last of the flooding.