Fourth Street flooding a nuisance in Winston-Salem

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Flooding on Fourth Street is a problem some Winston-Salem business owners have dealt with for 20 years.

On a severe weather day, they know what they could be in for.

Business owners tell FOX8 the flooding can last hours or days. Blake Stewart, owner of the cocktail bar Fair Witness, said when there’s a lot of rain, it’s almost impossible to walk through the front door. That’s why he and his business partner Tim Nolan built makeshift dams to deal with the flooding.

“It’s a liability for the city. It’s a liability for us and it certainly impacts our business,” Stewart said.

Stewart opened his bar 18 months ago. Since then, he’s dealt with flooded sidewalks and constant debris.

“I’ve slipped, I mean I didn’t get hurt, but it is embarrassing. My business partner Tim has slipped,” Stewart said.

Stewart says 30 to 50 days out of the year he has major flooding outside his property and it’s hurting business.

“If you can’t get the party going, nobody’s going to come and when it’s flooded out out front, that makes it harder,” Stewart said.

Stewart isn’t the only one dealing with water problems. It’s happening up and down Fourth Street in downtown Winston Salem because of clogged storm drains and the railroad tracks nearby.

“The worst I’ve ever seen it, it was from my building all the way to the other side of the street,” Stewart said.

The city is also looking into a possible infrastructure problem.

“There has to be a rational answer to resolve this,” Stewart said.

City leaders are planning to hold a meeting with business owners concerned about the flooding to come up with a solution. There is no date set for that meeting right now.

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