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Maryland Businesses Hit Hard By Worst Flooding In Years

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Ileto Christie 370x278 (2) Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There are many messes to clean up after Maryland is hit hard by flash flooding. As the water recedes, businesses try to save what they can.

Christie Ileto has more on some of the worst damage.

The cleanup started Thursday. Side Street Café in Cockeysville is one of several businesses drying off from Wednesday’s washout.

“We were here, we had customers. And then we had to get rid of everybody, telling everybody to leave. The food is gone. A lot of food is destroyed,” owner Ahmad Mehtizadeh said.

Next door at John Heagy’s, dryers air out the floors once submerged.

Strong storms flooded the area Wednesday, turning the Jones Falls into a raging river. In Bowie, a driver had to be rescued from his car. The parking lot at Mt. Washington Mill ended up three feet underwater.

Muddy puddles of water are all that remain from flash flooding in Cockeysville. Businesses there on York Road say the area is known to flood when there’s heavy rainfall.

“It was like a sinking ship bailing water. All we kept doing was filling up buckets and dumping it down in the sink,” said Robbin Haas, the owner of Birroteca.

Cell phone video captures the Jones Falls swelling, as rising waters swarm Birroteca.

“This is how high water got right here. Right to the bottom of the sign. You would have been under water,” Haas said.

Birroteca is back open, but Joshua Brownstein is not so lucky. He says his clothing store, The Joshua Tree, lost nearly 70 percent of its merchandise. They can’t reopen for several weeks.

“It’s like you have a chess board. You have all this stuff on a chess board as a metaphor,” Brownstein said. “And what happened here, is that chess board got flipped over and all these pieces fell. And then it got flipped back on its side this morning and you see what’s left. And that’s what you have to work with.”

Business owners in Laurel didn’t fare well, either.

“Water levels were up to the level of the cars. The whole back lot was flooded,” said Tony McIver, AAMCO employee.

In Baltimore, parts of the Inner Harbor went under water.

“This was beyond my imagination. I don’t know how long I can do this,” Mehtizadeh said.

But for businesses like Side Street Café, who say they they’ve weathered five floods to date, getting dry isn’t the hard part—staying dry is.

Some businesses estimate damage will cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The metro area got anywhere from 6 to 7 inches of rain over the last few days. Businesses say this is the worst flooding they’ve seen in years.

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