Flooding forces Johnston City business to close - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Flooding forces Johnston City business to close

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JOHNSTON CITY -- Recent flooding has caused one business owner in Johnston City to close up shop for good.

Randy Simmons runs a lawn mower shop on Broadway Boulevard in Johnston City, or at least he did until recently.

He said flooding in April last year hurt his business.

"We had that one big flood you seen where all the canoes and stuff came in at. That wiped us out over there, flooded this house, flooded mine, flooded the shop," Simmons said. "We rebuilt from there, did it again and I think it was two weeks ago, Deja Vu all over again."

"This time it's just too far gone to rebuild so we're just going to close it down."

Lake Creek sits not too far away from Broadway Boulevard and when it rains heavily, it causes the road to flood. Simmons said he wants to see the city do something.

"It just seems with the amount of rain, we don't have any place for this water to go," Simmons said. "Except for in these houses and in the businesses."

Johnston City mayor Jim Mitchell said he met with environmental officials last week.

"We're studying it to see what can be done," Mitchell said. "That's all you can do. You're not going to reroute the creek."

Mitchell said he understands Simmons' concerns but there's not much the city can do.

"We don't want to see any business leave this town, but... he's in the flood plain," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he'll do what he can to solve the flooding problem and Simmons said he has faith in city leaders, but that won't bring his business back.

"It's devastating, I mean, that's just our livelihood. That's what we feed our families with," Simmons said. "This shop's ours and it was all gone in a matter of hours."

He plans to find a new place to do business but he said it won't be in Johnston City.

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