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Memphis business owner struggling to bounce back from storm damage

“I feel like we’re in a little pod here that people have forgotten about,” said Ann Yates, The Bazaar owner.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It has been over a week and many are still dealing with damages from the holiday freeze. The owner of The Bazaar in Memphis said they've been struggling to bounce back.

“Water was running all down the walls and everything. Just pouring. Just pouring,” said Ann Yates, The Bazaar owner. 

That was Christmas Day.

“The alarm went off because the water was running into my alarm panel,” said Yates.

When Yates walked into her boutique in the Medical District, she noticed the damage immediately.

“I was ankle-deep in water. Water was gushing out the ceiling,” said Yates.

She has owned The Bazaar for five years.

“It’s been cold every year. Why now,” asked Yates. 

For the first time, a pipe froze on the second floor of the shop’s business, burst, and flooded her shop.

The problem only continued with this week’s rain.

“I had to leave the back door open because of the smell and trying to keep everything from being molded,” said Yates.

She clears a drain in the back of the boutique to stop water from going inside. “I feel like we’re in a little pod here that people have forgotten about,” said Yates.

The City of Memphis said when it comes to water issues at businesses and homes, it is on MLGW. If the problem goes unsolved, residents can reach out to the MLGW Board of Commissioners or their City Council members. To prevent flooding, the city said they clean storm drains every business day. They inspect flooding when stormwater is above what they call Finished Floor Elevation (FFE).

“The city is steady out there in front of me doing this, doing that … I don’t see any improvements, so I really don’t know what to think,” said Yates.  

Though feeling frustrated, Yates decided to move forward.

 “I’m only a year and half from being 80. I could have just stopped, but I think it’s part of my DNA to keep plugging and keep trying to do all that I can do to show people you can’t wallow,” said Yates. 

Her friends have created a fundraiser to help Yates recover. If you'd like to support, click here

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