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Some Bloomington shops not reopening quickly after flooding

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — From the outside, only minor damage and debris could been seen Tuesday in Bloomington, but the impact Saturday flooding had on businesses is far from over.

Signs are taped on storefronts across the city tell customers they would be closed for cleanup until further notice.

“Mask mandates, things like that are starting to lift, then a random flash flood wipes you out for a week,” said Maddie Buffington.

She calls her store one of the lucky ones. Buffington had only minor damage at the Greetings on Kirkwood gift shop. Buffington said part of that was by design.

“All of our stuff is kind of on risers because this has been here for 30 years, and we used to experience a lot of flooding, so they were more prepared this time,” Buffington said.

Just up the hill at Lennie’s restaurant, Rita Griffin said they weren’t as prepared, but the restaurant’s location kept things more calm. “Our power did go out, and it was kind of, in our back kitchen area, there was a little bit of water that came in through our back door.”

That wasn’t the case for most businesses at the bottom of one hill. “The water was almost as tall as I am at it’s deepest right in front of Nick’s (English Hut) and Goodfellas, and over at the back of our building on Fourth Street it (the flooding) was covering cars,” Griffin said.

Many owners did not expecting to reopen for at least another week; some think it could be even longer.

“I have a lot of friends that work at those places and I guess it’s just really unfortunate that they’re not going to be working or have any more or income,” Griffin said.

In the meantime, the American Red Cross on Tuesday extended its Bloomington shelter hours indefinitely, and the Monroe County Emergency Management Office said any businesses that are having trouble getting the damage covered by insurance should report it to 211.

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