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

Local News

NORTH JACKSON, Ohio (WKBN) – A few streets in Jackson Township were a mess after Wednesday evening’s quick downpour. One that caused some big trouble for FedEx drivers was N. Bailey Road. Not far from there, on Duck Creek Road in North Jackson, which is within Jackson Township, a home and small business owner gave us a call. When we got to his house, the road, his yard and his garage with all of his work equipment inside were flooded. He said it’s a problem that’s only getting worse.

“For the first time ever, it’s never gone in my garage like this… like I said, year by year it’s gotten worse. It started off just having a big stream across our driveway,” said Joel Barkelew.

Barkelew runs a small business out of his home, where he has lived for four years. He says any time a heavy rain comes through, he comes home to flowing water in the front yard, a covered driveway and water bubbling out of the pipes that should be draining water out to the road, but that’s also flooded.

“Then I came home, found both my garages completely flooded, probably thousands of dollars in damage. I just started hustling around, got the family out moving stuff around, trying to save what we could,” he said.

Except this time, he says it ruined thousands of dollars worth of work equipment.

“I have sanding equipment, floor install equipment, probably $500 to $600 worth of sandpaper, air tools,” Barkelew said.

The ruined equipment won’t put him out of business, but it does hurt him financially.

“When it finally hit my big garage with my equipment that helps pay for my home and support my family, that’s when enough is enough,” he said.

It’s not just equipment Barkelew is worried about though, he has a pony, chickens and a goat in the backyard, where there is also flooding.

“We have livestock that provide for us and that’s all in jeopardy due to neglect of probably cleaning out some pipes,” he said.

Barkelew says he has reached out to the county about the flooding but that they told him it’s a problem with his neighbor’s ditch not being cleaned out.

“I hope they get out and go through the system and figure out where the problem is and fix it for us to save us thousands of dollars,” he said.

As for now, Barkelew says his next step is saving what he can from the water.

“Start cleaning, it’s all I can do,” he said.

We did reach out to the county but it was after office hours, so we’re waiting to hear back about what’s causing the flooding on Duck Creek Road and whether or not it’s something the county can help with.

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