By Steve Robinson | June 29, 2021 - 7:59 am
Posted in Category: News, The Normalite

NORMAL – Heavy rains late in the day and early evening on June 25 and June 26 caused problems for businesses and drivers, particularly along Main Street, and specifically for a pair of established businesses which intersect near Advocate BroMenn Medical Center.

Both on Friday and Saturday, June 25 and 26, that weather created problems for area businesses in that neighborhood both days including flooding of their parking lots, as well as the parking lot for the Medical Center nearest Main Street. Rain waters stretched across Main Street to the businesses, and at one point, although the convenience store stands on raised concrete, its gas pumps area was under water rendering them useless.

Next door, at Monical’s Pizza, their parking lot flooded and their basement received some water, explained the store’s general manager, Brian Plotner.

For Casey’s General Store Convenience Store, 1301 S. Main St., the water rush meant waist deep or slightly higher water in the area around its gas pumps. The business’ building itself was unaffected, explained store manager Mercedes Bundy, because the store building sits on a raised concrete platform, the brainchild of the building’s original owner.

But next door, at Monical’s Pizza, 1219 S. Main St., matters were a little more difficult, Plotner explained. His store is slightly lower to the ground which meant the restaurant had flooding issues, including its dumpster floating off the property at one point as a result of Friday’s downpour and the restaurant closing roughly 30 minutes earlier than usual, around 10:30p.m.

In addition, Saturday’s rains began around 3:30p.m. with the downpour increasing to the point Plotner had his employees park in a section of Casey’s lot. Plotner added he stopped delivery service around 4:15p.m. Saturday because the flooding prompted him to move his store vehicles across the street to sit at Casey’s and delivery drivers would have to walk with product to the cars as a result of the flooding.

Also by that time, he said, his business only had a couple of phone-in orders which Plotner said he cancelled for the safety of his employees explaining he was concerned about potential injuries due to parking blocks in the parking lot.

Saturday’s rain produced another issue: The restaurant’s dumpster floated away from its confinement but not far from the restaurant forcing Plotner to call a company to retrieve it and put it back in place.

“They were really great about letting us do that,” Plotner said about the neighboring business’ assist.

Over at Casey’s, Bundy said her parking lot was the only part of the store’s premises affected by the hip-deep and slightly higher water. No water entered the store, she said.

Flood waters crossed Main Street intruding on a lower parking lot at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center located directly across from Casey’s.

Rains Caused Temporary Stoppages For Connect Transit: Connect Transit, the Twin Cities’ public transit provider, also experienced temporary service stoppages at a couple of points on both Friday and Saturday as a result of the rains, explained Shelly Perry, operations manager for Connect Transit. Shelly Perry, operations manager for the transit service. She explained the rains prompted the company to halt service once per day – from 8:45p.m.-9p.m. Friday night, and again from 3:30p.m.-7p.m. Saturday meaning buses stayed in place at their nearest transfer point.

During those times, Perry said, buses remained in place while assessments of Twin Cities roads could be made. Once waters started receding, she said, the system went back to picking up and dropping off passengers.

Perry said inclement weather usually causes such stoppage procedures to be put into effect, and that Friday’s and Saturday’s episodes were the first time Connect Transit had to employ them this year.

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