She said it’s hard to know if 2018 was an extreme example when it comes to rainfall, or if it might foreshadow future weather patterns.
"We just don’t have a way to know that right now," she said.
Several stores in Eastgate Crossing Shopping Center, a mile down East Franklin from Camelot Village, also experienced serious damage due to flooding during Hurricane Florence.
Beth Ellis, the owner of Clean Juice, said the store saw three to six inches of flooding and was closed for nine days. She said she had to replace Sheetrock and finishing, and the storm also damaged machinery and caused problems with refrigeration.
She said she knew there was a possibility of flooding when Clean Juice first moved into the center in December of 2017 because she was required to purchase flood insurance. She said that her insurance did not cover all of the damages.
“Flood insurance does not cover loss of use — business interruption — so the business interruptions we were not compensated for,” she said.
She said Clean Juice does not have floodgates, so sandbags were the main resources used to limit flooding.
Claudia Kemmet-Cooper, the owner of Guglhupf, said her store did not sustain significant damage during the storm because it has 48 inch high floodgates. Cooper was required to install the floodgates before Guglhupf's 2017 opening, because the cost of renovations required the store to be brought up to code for flooding.
She said the store also has a sump pump, which helped address standing water issues.
“From the outside, it was shocking,” she said. “The photo that was sent to me because it happened so fast, I thought I was going to fall out of my chair. There was nothing like being on the receiving end of that picture, but the floodgates that we have did an amazing job.”
As a result of these technologies, the store only had about one inch of standing water, and the main challenge was emptying some of the filth that came in with the water.
“Within a few hours, you would not have known what happened,” she said.
She said measures like the bioretention pond planned to be built behind Eastgate this summer could be helpful with water management.
“For cities that are prone to flooding issues, as we move forward with an altered reality, it becomes a matter of how we can live with the water rather than how we can we avoid it, because it will happen,” she said.
Ellis said it is important to develop strategies to minimize the impact of flooding.
“Hopefully the Town, in conjunction with the landlord, will be able to take care of some of these issues so it doesn’t happen every five years or so,” she said.