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Downtown Roanoke business owners threaten to move out, press city for flooding fix

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Some downtown Roanoke business owners say they are considering throwing in the towel. Store owners spent part of the day cleaning up the mess that followed the third flooding incident this summer. Many said they want to see the city make changes.

"Its as far as we've seen since 2002," said Metro's Owner and Chef Andy Schlosser.

Schlosser said the water outside of his door was up two or three feet and if the water level was an inch or two higher, his entire dining room would have flooded.

Across the street from Metro, Jim Jones the co-owner of City Corner, is also familiar with this problem.

"We're losing money," said Jones. "If the situation continues and the city of Roanoke can't do something about it then you know, hey I need to find somewhere else to go."

Many business owners are fed up saying the drainage systems are not working and pressing the city for change.

The city said some water lines are 100 years old and replacing old water lines wouldn't necessarily fix the problem. Instead the city is looking to build green spaces to reduce the amount of runoff.

"That's what green infrastructure is all about, how Mother Nature deals with the storm water," said Dwayne D'Ardenne, the city's storm water utility manager. "We need to reflect that. If you look at downtown versus suburban areas, there are significant differences between what's green and absorbs storm water."

D'Ardenne said the plan to add more green space and sewer drains to help alleviate flood waters is being developed, but the fix will take 10 to 20 years.

City leaders said they are aware of the problem and looking to do what they can to prevent serious flooding in the future. If this continues the concern is that more area businesses could look to move out of downtown.