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Taking Action Update: Local Business Flooding Because Of Drainage Issues

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – WHNT News 19 is taking action to help a local business owner.

Ted Lankster is the owner of Ted’s Car Center on North Jefferson Street in Athens.

About five years ago a Dollar Store was built next door to his business. He said ever since then, every time there is a heavy rain, his business floods.

“Every time that it’s a hard rain, it’s going to flood and we have to clean our parking lot and we have to clean our floors, every single time, ” said Lankster.

His employee, Josh Gandy, is tasked with the chore of cleaning up the water that seeps into the building.

“We have to squeegee all the rain out the door and it’s probably in the office probably about two to three inches high,” said Gandy.

Lankster said the problem occurs when water backs up in a drainage ditch in front of his business along Jefferson Street. The water then overflows into his parking lot and leaks into his business.

He reached out to the city to see if its engineers could fix the drainage issue.

“We’ve called them several times over the years and they’ve been out two or three times, but nothing’s really ever gone from there,” said Lankster.

He said the city addressed possible solutions, such as clearing the ditch and grading it, but it has yet to be fixed.

The issue is not constant, but Lankster knows it has hurt his business.

“All around it’s cost us money, it’s cost us time and not to mention the headache,” said Lankster.

Gandy says the flooding issue has also scared potential customers away.

“If I have a customer and some people will come out in the rain to look at a vehicle and they’re not going to come wade through water to come purchase a vehicle or even to look at it,” said Gandy.

WHNT News 19 took action and reached out to the public works director for the city of Athens.

He said he was unaware of the issue and that he would have to look into the situation.

UPDATE

WHNT News 19 took action and followed up with the City of Athens Engineering Services.

The office told us the problem will not be an overnight fix, but it will get done.