City drenched, flooding blocks streets

Published 5:07 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Heavy rain brought flash flooding to parts of Greenville on Wednesday afternoon as standing water submerged streets, invaded homes and downtown businesses, and completely blocked some roadways.

View photos of Wednesday’s flash flooding HERE

Water quickly built up beneath the train underpass, creating a small lake that spread east up Commerce St., stranding some owners in their businesses as water poured beneath doorways. Water reached as far as Electro Music, intruding into Sonya’s Dance Studio, Majors Floor Covering, the Front Street Pub, and Goodwill.

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Ron Rice worked with a broom to clear trash and debris that collected on drains as the water receded.

“Sonya’s still inside,” said Rice, referring to his wife, owner of the studio. “She’s at the door trying to keep the water out.”

William Johnson, whose father, Butch, owns Electro Music, knew there would be problems on Commerce St. before he even arrived.

“We live on South St. and the water was up to the muffler of my car, so I figured it would be bad down here,” he said.

Mayor Dexter McLendon implemented the city’s emergency plan, calling in all essential city employees to combat the flooding in Greenville. Parts of Manningham Rd. were reportedly submerged, as were some homes.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said McLendon.

Overlook Rd., near Greenville Middle School, was impassable as rainwater overran a drainage ditch and flooded Mirindy Atkins’ basement, spilling gas and paint cans.

Atkins said there were two motorcycles, a scooter, a washer and dryer, as well her high school yearbooks in the basement. All ruined now, she said.

“When I got home the front of my truck was in the water,” said Atkins, who works as a substitute teacher. Her husband, Steve, was able to start the truck and back it up before the water could flood it.

During the afternoon, road closures were reported on Highway 10, Commerce St., Overlook Rd., Bolling St., South St., and Fort Dale Rd., but all roads are now open.

As of 4:30 p.m., road crews were out surveying to assess the damages.

No injuries have been reported.

“I’d like to thank Bob [Luman] from the EMA for being down here to help us out,” said McLendon. “We appreciate that and the help of Brett Howard as well. We’re just looking at it all and seeing what we can do right now.”

Anyone with flood damage from the storm can report it to Bob Luman at 382-7911.

Sports Editor Michael Rodgers contributed to this report.