Madison business owners clean up after flooding, prepare for more rain

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MADISON, N.C. -- Rain and flooding hit businesses in Madison hard twice in the past three weeks and people in the Rockingham County town are worried more is on the way.

Rockingham County is under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 8 p.m. Monday.

Store owners on Murphy Street and Market Street in downtown Madison lined the doors in front of their shops with sandbags. They're doing whatever they can to prepare, because they can't afford any more damage to their businesses.

The carpets are still drying out at Furniture and Carpet Company on Murphy Street and the floor is still covered in puddles.

"The floor is starting to buckle," owner Danny Smith said.

Smith is worried about a repeat of Friday night's flood damage.

"Getting ready for this afternoon, tonight," he said. "They say this could happen all over again."

Town maintenance crews plan to monitor the drains in downtown Madison during upcoming storms.

Business owners say the drainage system contributes to the flooding.

"We've got a problem downtown," Smith said.

Just two drains take on all the water from Murphy Street when it rains. Friday night they got clogged up with storm debris and the water wound up inside businesses.

Smith says nobody downtown has flood insurance and store owners will have to pay for the repairs themselves. Smith says he's likely looking at more than $10,000 of damage.

"Hopefully the town's going to back us up on all this," he said. "Maybe we get this straightened out and get these drains and, course, what's under the streets out here has somewhat to do with it too."

Until then, businesses continue to clean up and hope town leaders can provide direction and a long-term solution for the drainage problem.

"They're trying to take care of it so we don't have to go through this again," Smith said. "I'm to the point where I don't know exactly what I should be doing in here yet. I don't really want to put a new floor in here until I make sure this is finished and done with."

The mayor of Madison plans to declare a State of Emergency this week, hoping to qualify for more money to help business owners clean up.