Bloomington businesses continue cleanup efforts following Friday night flooding

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Businesses along Kirkwood Avenue in Bloomington continued cleaning and sanitizing long after floodwaters receded on Saturday.

Most served customers on Saturday, but Kilroy’s on Kirkwood was still closed.

Owner Kevin Fitzpatrick said he hopes to open back up on Tuesday. Fitzpatrick described the rising water as “scary and fast” outside Kilroy’s, and it eventually forced its way in.

“Fortunately, we took all of our customers up to the second floor, held them up there until the water subsided, and then sent them home,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick described witnessing concerning circumstances during the flooding.

“People think they can drive through this, they think they can walk through floodwaters, they just can’t,” Fitzpatrick said. “The cars were literally floating along Kirkwood Avenue.”

Keith Stacey works at the Jimmy John’s just feet away from Kilroy’s.

“It was pretty bad,” Stacey said. “There were a couple cars floating, or in the street, down on Kirkwood.”

Stacey and his fellow employees had to close the shop early due to a power outage, then the high waters forced them to stay inside. But at least they were safe.

“People (were) just walking through waist-deep water which is not safe when it’s like flash flood like that because you could so easily get swept up in a current and drown,” Stacey said.

After coming off of a rough year for everyone, Deputy Mayor Donald Griffin Jr. said not even flood waters could drown the resiliency of this community.

“We’ve gone through COVID, we’ve gone through these crazy cicadas, and now we’ve gone through flooding, yet people are still operating with a smile on their face and working hand-in-hand,” Griffin said.

The city said they hope to have the streets cleaned up in a couple of days.

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