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Florissant business owners plead for help with flood damage

Many business owners said they lost everything from the flood waters and they aren't sure when and if they can open their doors again.

FLORISSANT, Mo. — Business owners in Florissant are pleading for the community's help. Flood damage still has many of their doors closed, as the recovery continues. 

The damage to businesses in Florissant isn't on just one street; the line of shut-down stores actually stretches over one-mile long. 

Many business owners said they lost everything from the flood waters and they aren't sure when and if they can open their doors again.

Business owner, Melissa Ingram, described the Florissant Meadows Shopping Center like a 'ghost town' right now.

"We're all just completely shut down," she said.

Walking from business to business, all you see are closed signs and locked doors. Ingram said that's because of rushing water that took over the shopping center's parking lot almost two weeks ago.

"I've never seen it that bad. Of all the years that I've been here, I have not been through a flood this bad," she said.

You can still see decorations on the walls of Ingram's yoga studio, Issa Lifestyle. The inspirational quotes are really all that's left of the dream business she opened just four months ago.

Ingram said walking into her store full of water was impactful.

"I was devastated and kind of in shock because I didn't know what to do next, and it feels like no one knows what we're supposed to do next," she said.

The water came up pretty high in the front of the studio, and a dark line still shows where it stopped. This left Ingram with ripped outlets,and walls— pretty much forcing her to start from scratch.

"The water had a current to it, and it was strong enough to shake things off of my shelf and have them fall down into the water. I lost things that were even up high and safe from water," she said.

It's a similar story just a few doors down at the Dream Modest Fashion clothing store.

The water filled two inches of the shop, and you can still some mud left over from the cleanup that owner Yousef Jaraba said still has to be done.

"I lost all the shelves. This is what I have left," he said.

Fan after fan sits on the floor of Jaraba's shop. A store he had only had opened for 25 days when the flood came. Jaraba said it's hard, but he has to have hope.

"I trust God, you know? I don't care. Everything comes from God," he said.

According to Jaraba, he lost 90% of the clothing he was selling in his store. 

Now, he's worried he'll lose more if help doesn't come soon.

"If I cannot start working and make money to cover my bills. I'm losing the store. I'm losing my house," Jaraba said.

Many of the businesses in that area have GoFundMe's set up or are asking the community to help with their electricity bills.

Ingram said some of their bills have tripled and quadrupled because of the machines they're using to dry out their spaces.

Ingram posted on her Facebook that these are just some of the stores that need the community's help:

  • Issa Lifestyle- 750 N Highway 67
  • A&A Jewelry 
  • Naush
  • Stars & Stripes 
  • Morgan Teaguez 
  • Dream Modest
  • Las Fuentas
  • Beauty Expo
  • Sew Hope
  • Select Appliance 
  • Ideal Furniture 
  • LashU
  • Get Well Family Chiropractic
  • New York Grill

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