DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) -- The owner of a Decatur restaurant didn’t have a lot to celebrate on the fourth of July. He was still cleaning up the day after a flash flood sent water pouring into his business. Whitt's Barbecue on Spring Avenue was hit hard. Mark Whitt owns the place. He remembers the rain starting to pick up but never dreamed it would get all the way into the BBQ pit.
"We tried to stop it but there wasn't anything we could do, it was as if the water was going to do just what it wanted to in spite of us,” Whitt told us. The flood waters not only filled up the work area but the actual pit where they cook the meat. Whitt added, “Luckily we were finishing up a whole pit of meat so that was saved and was still good."
This isn’t the first time the place has flooded from heavy rain. Mark remembers it happening about 15 years ago. "It was worse than this then, and it shut us down for several days back then,” Whitt said.
Floodwater in a BBQ pit isn’t a good mix. Whitt says the staff at the restaurant is making sure everything is cleaned thoroughly. "It didn't look like it bothered anything at all as far as health hazards.” Whitt added, “Especially since you're using Clorox to clean up. So I think we are OK."
He is concerned about more rain moving in Friday night because they plan to be cooking meat in the pit Saturday morning. If heavy rains do cause more flooding, they may be back at square one and have to close for a few days. Mark Whitt says that would be a bit hit for his business, one he can’t afford.