Gulfport businesses shutdown by flood waters

Gulfport businesses shutdown by flood waters

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Business owners were shocked at what they discovered when they arrived at work.

When Hurricane Katrina blew through this area in 2005, the Hobby Lobby Shopping Center didn't flood, but on April 28, 2016 a number of these shops went under water.

The cleanup was underway when I arrived.  Melissa and Wayne Fisher, family and friends tried sweeping the water out of Melissa's Bakery.

Melissa Fisher said, "We've been at this location right at a year and it is the first time it's happened.  It's a total loss."

So how bad was flooding here at the Hobby Lobby Shopping Center? Well, inside the ice cream shop and the bakery...19 inches of rain.

The Fisher's didn't learn of the flooding until a friend notified them on Facebook.

Wayne Fisher said, "I got a picture from my wife.  She sent it to me and she found out from a friend that sent it to her on Facebook."

Melissa says while it's devastating she wanted to reassure customers that their birthday and wedding cakes will be delivered on time.

"We will be in touch with you to let you know a meeting place, so we can get your orders to you, "stated Fisher.  "Weddings will go off as normal.  We do not bake or decorate from this location."

Michael Brunson owns Forever Flowers.   Brunson says water was rising in the parking lot at about 6:30 this morning.  He had never seen the water rise so quickly from a nearby creek.

Brunson said, "Katrina was not a big rain event, it was a tidal surge.  So, we were not expecting this at all."

While the work of moving out equipment and the water cleanup continues, these businesses promised to return as quickly as possible.

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