Flood threat not closing some Grand Rapids stores - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Flood threat not closing some Grand Rapids stores

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Flooding may eventually be a problem in the Village of Grand Rapids, Ohio, but there's another problem facing downtown businesses and it isn't water.

The threat of water has created a sense of panic that's kept shoppers away.

Business owners in Grand Rapids, OH say the media have hyped the potential for flooding and hurt sales.

Business owners in Grand Rapids, OH say the media have hyped the potential for flooding and hurt sales.

The Maumee River is moving within banks at Grand Rapids and at Pisanello's Pizza they are determined to stay open until the water rises.

Jenni Pisanello says she will stay open until water come into the store.  "Am I supposed to shut my business down and wait for it to flood? No.  I'm not going to do that," she told 13abc's Bill Hormann.

Not every business is so defiant.

Even though the river is dropping, some store owners are piling sandbags.

The old timers say, that is safer than staying open to make that last penny.

Ed Cline told 13abc those store owners are tempting fate.   "They're going to take in a few dollars people looking around, but they're going to lose a lot of money for not getting that stuff out," he said.

Some stores have already surrendered to the inevitable flood in Grand Rapids.  But the Garden Gate has been in town for 12-years and has never had to close because of flood water in the store.

And it is that confidence–  and the need to make sales during a slow winter– that has owners watching the water, but not bailing out.

Terri Elling said, "The water is already going down, the temperatures are freezing again, so yeah, there's no water here."

Several stores along downtown Grand Rapids *are open*.  They have invested a lot of money in inventory and know some people will come to town just to watch the river.  And they see that as a way to make some sales.

But right now, shopowners believe they don't have to get out.   And they want you to know they are open for business.

Business owners say the media have hyped the flooding and they say some businesses closed too early because they panicked.

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