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Despite Wet Start To Week, Many Businesses Open

By Cece Nunn, posted Oct 5, 2015
Although soggy conditions continued to dampen the Wilmington area Monday, many businesses remained open.

Even in Carolina Beach, which was experiencing the worst flooding mayor Dan Wilcox had seen in his 25 years there, commercial activity was apparent, Wilcox said.

“Generally speaking the businesses are doing OK,” he said Monday afternoon. “All in all, the businesses are open … and I guess you could say are doing as well as can be expected.”

Rainfall levels had reached more than 12 inches as of 8 a.m. Monday in some parts of New Hanover County and nearly 19 inches in Sunset Beach in Brunswick County, according to the National Weather Service. Schools and government offices were closed in the Cape Fear region.

By around 2 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service’s Wilmington forecast was transitioning from warnings of flash flooding to expectations of river flooding, according to the NWS’s website. The conditions responsible for the heavy rainfall were expected to pull away Tuesday, with dry and seasonable weather expected through Friday, the service’s forecast online said.

At a shopping center Monday morning on College Road, a restaurant manager prepared to open for lunch. Juan Jose, manager of Plaza Mariachi at 326 S. College Road in the University Centre retail complex, said some flooding in the parking lot had kept at least a few customers away Sunday evening.

“It was too much water for the little cars,” he said.

But most of that water, including the accumulation that had reached the walkway in front of the restaurant and other businesses in the center, had receded as of Monday morning.

“Overall, University Centre is in good shape,” according to an email from the company that owns the center, DDR Corp. “Water has not entered any stores, though major roadways around the center have flooded. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation to minimize the effects of flooding.”

DDR workers began placing sandbags Saturday around the perimeter of buildings at the center, among whose anchors are Sam’s Club and Lowe’s Home Improvement, to prevent water from entering tenant spaces, the email said. “Last night, we rerouted traffic away from storefronts to prevent water from jumping the curb as vehicles passed by. Additionally, we are actively pumping out water that has collected in loading docks to enable stores to continue receiving freight deliveries,” the email said.

Mayfaire Community and Town centers were open Monday, but the centers’ management company was giving tenants the option to close and reopen Tuesday.

“We will continue to monitor the storm overnight and make any necessary changes to our hours of operation tomorrow morning,” stated an email Monday morning from Paige Somervell, assistant general manager and marketing director for Mayfaire.

Some signs of the weather’s anticipated improvement were apparent as of Monday afternoon. Brunswick County announced that its government offices, library branches and landfill would open at 11 a.m. Tuesday, though the county courthouse would be closed.

Meanwhile, officials throughout the region kept their eyes on road conditions. In New Hanover County, the county’s emergency management department continued to update a list of reported road closures throughout the day and into the afternoon, warning that roads could close and reopen as stormwater accumulated and drained.
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