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Fire Department Responds To Flooded Business in Northeast Charlotte

The Charlotte Fire Department responds to a business in Northeast Charlotte that has flooded.
Charlotte Fire Department
The Charlotte Fire Department responds to a business in Northeast Charlotte that has flooded.

The Charlotte Fire Department responded to a business in northeast Charlotte that flooded earlier today and helped the occupants escape.

The fire department says it was assisting people at Top Price Recycling in the 100 block of Atando Avenue after flooding prevented workers in the building from evacuating. Antony Juan, a part-owner of the business, says the floodwaters started to surround the building around 10:30 a.m.

Firefighters were called around 11:20 a.m., according to Fire Capt. Dennis Gist, and upon arriving, the waters had grown to between 6 and 10 feet, submerging cars and a 4-feet-tall mailbox.

Video captured by WSOC-TV showed members of the fire department on an inflatable raft making their way through muddy waters to the building. Five people were inside, and all five were rafted to safety.

The fire department believes the flooding was due to a nearby storm drain that became clogged. It was still unclear Tuesday afternoon what caused the blockage.

It’s the second time the recycling business has been flooded. The first time was in September 2016, says Juan. He says the flooding caused upward of $100,000 in damage for the business, which is located next to a tributary that feeds into Little Sugar Creek.

This time, the floodwaters seemed to have done less damage, Juan says. Following the rescue, he told his employees to head home to take a shower, then return to help clean up. 

The flooding comes after storms dumped nearly six inches of rain over Charlotte since 7 a.m. Monday. The National Weather Service is attributing the heavy rain to an upper-level low-pressure system stretching from the eastern Carolinas to New York.

More rain is forecast Tuesday evening, with a chance of continuing showers Wednesday morning. A flash flood watch was issued for much of the Charlotte region through midnight Tuesday.