Barriers & Sandbags: River Drive businesses prepare for major flooding

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The businesses along River Drive hope this spring’s flooding isn’t as bad as 1993, but that’s what they’re preparing for.

“This is not my favorite time of year,” said Solar Vision owner Steve Webster. “I start watching the weather up north in February. It’s just something you got to do.” 

When the flood waters start to rise, Webster knows what to do to keep his business dry.

“We’re building a wall. We’re using the HESCO barriers that we purchased years ago,” Webster said. “We’ve gone through 200 tons [of sand] so far and we probably got another 120 tons to go.” 

Webster has had his business at Warren Street and River Drive for 30 years. He’s had to build up barriers nine times.

“It drives you nuts after a while,” he said.

He’s seen how bad the flooding can be because he was here in 1993. 

“This would have been about six inches of water in here,” Webster said in his garage. “And this sits up pretty high.” 

Webster said it took his business eight months to recover from 1993’s flooding.

Down the street, Dreamscape Technology is facing the floods for the first time. They’ve been at River Drive and Strudevant Street for two years.

“We see a lot of Facebook posts from the 1960s and then from the 1990s,” said account manager Blake Anderson. “If they’re saying that it’s supposed to be bad or worse than it’s ever been, it really puts a fire underneath you to get work done as fast as possible.” 

Their workers have been moving out equipment, filling sandbags and building barriers since 6 a.m. on Friday 

They got a taste of what’s to come during last year’s flooding.

“We weren’t as prepared for that one,” Anderson said. “We didn’t know exactly what we need. We didn’t know eactly where things were going to go.” 

He says their neighbors have helped them figure out how to prepare this time. The owner says even Webster has helped them out.

“I hope it’s not as bad as they anticipate it to be,” Webster said. “I don’t mind the preparation. I do mind the end result.” 

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