Flooding road closures forces businesses to close
Jun 03, 2023
by: Mya Clark
Posted: Jun 6, 2023 / 08:30 PM CDT
Updated: Jun 6, 2023 / 10:17 PM CDT
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Flooding from recent severe weather continues to have a negative impact as local businesses have been forced to close.
Businesses around Lawrence Lake, Paramount Boulevard and Olsen Street have been closed since the weekend as water continued to rise on the roads and parking lots.
The uncertainty of when they will be reopened has caused overwhelming emotional stress.
"It's fairly unnerving," said the Owner of Tyler's Barbecue Tyler Frazer. "Mainly because we don't know what to expect. We don't know if it's going to rain more. We don't know if it's going to fill up, we don't know if it's going to drain. We don't know if we’re going to open. That's scary."
In an effort to be prepared for the worst-case scenario of more flooding Tyler's Barbecue sandbagged their building.
"Currently, we have no water in the building, and we expect to open as soon as the water recedes from the parking lot," said Frazer. "However, we have been sandbagging all day and trying to prepare just in case, the water rises up above us here. I think it's going to cause a lot more problems than just our local problems if we get water."
Across from Tyler's is Hummers Sports Cafe. Owner Jimmie Lou Simmons shared they closed in a rush Sunday afternoon as water levels rose in their parking lot.
According to Simmons water didn't get into the building but business has still been impacted.
"You just can't get to us the way the streets are blocked and stuff," said Simmons. "It's just really hard for people to get here. So, we’ve just had to close."
Simmons is hoping to open as soon as roads reopen and except opening day to be busy.
"It’ll be busy because our people have been calling and the phone's been ringing off the hook and I had to postpone all deliveries and everything like that," said Simmons. "All that will be coming tomorrow and I’m hoping we’re open and full and everybody is glad to be back, because we are."
Another business in the area being impacted is Amarillo for Humanity ReStore.
Habitat for Humanity helps low-income families with affordable housing. They closed their doors Friday afternoon and haven't been able to reopen. Without donations or customers purchasing items from their store they are unable to fund their programs.
"We haven't been able to use our truck, it's been landlocked here with all the water around it," said ReStore Operations Director Kim Webb. "We haven't been able to go out and get donations, people can't drop things off here as well. So, we won't have as much to sale because of this, and then also just the overall income that we’ve lost as well."
In an effort to not cause employees financial hardship ReStore is still paying employees even as they remained closed.
"We’ve actually been paying them and trying to maintain their income," said Webb. "We don't want this to hurt them either but we’re just not sure how long we’re going to be closed and being able to do that."
The store is the number one way to fund Habitat projects and the longer they remain closed, the more families are impacted.
"Every day that were closed, we’re not getting those sales, we’re not getting that support, to help our programs," said Webb. "It really does affect us as a whole organization."
According to Webb, through Habitat for Humanity families go through a program where they learn financial skills and tools to take care of their homes.
"It's helping them be more well-rounded people to be able to afford that house and stay in that house," said Webb. "Then they give back by helping out other families as well get into their homes, we have a 0% interest rate on that our families, we raise all the funds to do the house initially."
Webb continued, "then from there, they do have a 0% interest rate where they pay it back. But it's just for the materials that it costs us because 90% of the home is built by volunteers. So, it's a great place to help families."
Businesses in the area are asking that people don't drive down the flooded streets, as it delays the reopening process.
"We really don't need anybody driving around down here," said Frazer. "If you drive a car, we know four-wheel drives are fantastic and lift kits are great and you can get through high water and it's not a problem. The problem is when they create a wake. The Wake actually causes the water to roll in the front door."
Local business owners impacted shared they appreciate the continued support they have received during difficult times.
For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with MyHighPlains.com and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with MyHighPlains.com and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.