Repeat disaster for businesses along Jones Falls

Posted at 6:44 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 18:44:39-04
As the flood waters of the Jones Falls unleashed their power on the parking lot at Meadow Mill, business owners experienced deja vu.
"This was really scary,” said business owner Brian Arnold. “It was two hours of rain that came up in about 10 minutes.  People were stranded in their cars... stranded in the building."
Four days later, swamped cars, collapsed retaining walls and even a Dumpster that became wedged between trees downstream are evidence of the flood, much like the one in April of 2014, which also took a toll on businesses inside the historic center.
Nepenthe Homebrew occupies the lowest ground and suffered the most damage, as the water destroyed most of its inventory.
"We will definitely reopen,” Arnold said. “In the short term, there's so much paperwork and headache associated with flood insurance that we have to do right.  It's kind of hard to get our heads out of it and look in the distance and see what exactly the next steps are."
Much like a few years ago, one of the first steps was to put out an appeal through a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $11,000 from 169 people in its first two days. 
"I was, justifiably I think, worried if we repeated a flood, we'd see people saying, 'Well, they should have moved out,'” Arnold said. “I think from the outside looking in that's a valid criticism if you don't have the context or really the understanding that commercial leases are different from residential leases and not as easy to break, but we didn't see a lot of that."
ABC2 News was  told the owners of the center took steps to minimize the potential damage from future floods after the last one two years ago, but it appears they did little good.

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