Burlington businesses start to reopen after Fox River floods

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 20:10:39-04

Homeowners aren’t the only ones impacted by the devastating floods in Burlington. The Burlington Police Chief said a majority of business in the downtown district had to close Wednesday because they were either flooded or did not have power.

A day of receding waters and recovery Friday had some opening their doors.

By the looks of the outside of Fred’s Burger’s the only indication they’re impacted by the flooding is the sign on the door. Their power is back on, but instead of flipping burgers, owner Fred Mabson is wading through his basement full of floating items.

“We have four and a half feet of water in the basement,” he said.

This is a first for Mabson, whose business stands about 100 feet from the Fox River.

“37 years, never a drop,” said Mabson. 

Residents will find more of the same at Chuck Mesec’s dental office.

“Everything came from the sewer and we’re still getting water coming through the sewer,” Mesec said.

No one will be getting their teeth cleaned by Mesec before he takes care of a flooded basement and ruined necessities.

“Our vacuum, our compressor, furnace and hot water heater,” he said.

Across downtown, it was hard to find a business that wasn’t pumping water on Friday. 

“Luckily a patient saw me and brought over a trash pump, pumping 500 gallons a minute,” Mesec said.

Police Chief Mark Anderson said by Friday morning, just a few businesses were ready to reopen near the Fox River.

“If you’ve done your due diligence as a business owner and you’re ready to operate, please, let’s open up those doors,” Anderson said.

Anderson hopes that number changes in a big way once businesses are no longer dealing with water issues. We Energies hopes to have a majority of the town’s power restored by Friday night. 

“We’re going to be open as quick as we possibly can,” Mabson said.

Mabson said he’ll be the one-man cleanup crew through the weekend to feed his customers in need. 

“I’d love to say we’d be open Monday, but probably not,” he said.