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Storm damage is last straw for area business owner who’s now out thousands of dollars

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NORTH JACKSON, Ohio (WYTV) – Wednesday’s weather hit one Mahoning County business owner hard with flooding on his property. He’s looking for help again so that the growing problem doesn’t spread and put him more in the hole.

“I was coming home, realized it was raining hard, but it was only for an hour, hour and a half. I was like, the area is going to be flooded like it always is,” said Joel Barkelew.

Barkelew is a small business owner and lives on Duck Creek Road in North Jackson. Wednesday’s storms brought much more than he expected.

“But then I came home and found both of my garages completely flooded,” he said.

The aftermath is going to cost him, so he knew he had to act fast because the tools inside are what keeps his small business afloat.

“Probably thousands of dollars in damages. I just started hustling around, got the family out moving stuff around, pilling stuff up, trying to save what we could,” he said.

He says over the years, the flooding has gotten worse. He’s called on community leaders to step in and help but says his cries for help aren’t being heard.

“I want it to be addressed by our county engineer who’ve I’ve contacted several times and nothing has been done. He blames it on our neighbors,” Barkelew said.

Barkelew says that the county engineers told him the neighbor’s ditch is to blame and needs to be cleaned out. He says that the county has come to address the issues but not in the areas that need it the most.

“It’s mainly me and my neighbor who have it the worst and it’s just getting old,” he said.

Now, he’s concerned that if the flooding is not addressed properly, more damage will happen in the future.

“It’s closer now than it’s ever been to this side of our house where we have two bedrooms in the basement,” he said.

Barkelew says he loves his home and neighborhood but has thought about moving if the problem is not fixed.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle