MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For the third time in about a month, Shorty Anderson’s Auto Service has flooded due to torrential rain in the area on Thursday night, July 29.
Travis Rowan, the co-owner of Shorty’s, said the first flood was devastating, the second not too bad and the third has been, hands down, the worst. In total, five of their cars were flooded on Thursday. It took all night and morning to clean the shop. Residue had to be power-washed and further cleaned even into Friday afternoon.
“We got a lot of mud and runoff from all the construction behind us,” Rowan said. “It filled the parking lots, I mean three-foot deep. It was — it was insane. We had a foot and a half of water in the shop. Mud, again.”
When Rowan said “again”, he referred to the previous floods, which were also a result of the construction site behind Shorty’s.
After the first flood in June, he said the construction site built a retention pond to hold in the rainwater, but it was unsuccessful. Shorty’s co-owner said he believes the existing pipes are not big enough to carry the water out of the pond. As a result, the water is coming out of the already-clogged drains and spilling into the auto shop.
He said it’s all just “crazy”.
“I’d like to see us not flood every single time it rains,” Rowan said. “I mean, this is the second big one that we’ve had, but every single rain we have gotten water in here now. I mean, it could rain for five minutes, and we get water in here now.”
Shorty’s has contacted the Morgantown Utility Board (MUB) and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), and so far neither of them has been able to help.
Rowan said he contacted MUB after the first flood, asking that they come to clean the ditches. Unfortunately, the ditches are still full and getting even more clogged every time it rains.
As for the WVDEP, he said, he has talked to them “several times”, sending videos and pictures of the flooding; again, “nothing, really, came from it”.
All WVDEP has done is documented the situation and then left the business to its own devices, which is frustrating.
“Terribly frustrating,” Rowan said. “I mean, we’re not going to make it if this keeps happening. I mean, Shorty Anderson’s will be a thing of the past if this keeps happening. We can’t keep doing this. We’ve lost entirely too much money.”
These losses are not covered by the insurance company, so the business is, really, feeling the brunt of every single storm.
For now, Shorty’s will remain closed through the weekend, but the hope is it can open again soon after that.
“Hopefully, we’ll be open on Monday to try to figure out where we go from here,” Rowan said. “We can’t get help from insurance. Insurance won’t cover anything, and it’s just extremely frustrating.”