Rising waters destroy merchandise at SW MI business

Southwest Michigan

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Rising waters on Lake Michigan have overtaken a store in South Haven and the owner has lost tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise.

Adventure Water Sports on Dunkley Avenue says flooding has been a problem for months.

The most recent storms have flooded the retail store in the front of the building and the storage space in the back.

A photo of the outside of Adventure Water Sports in South Haven.  (Dec. 6, 2019)
A photo of the outside of Adventure Water Sports in South Haven. (Dec. 6, 2019)

Owner Suzy Cwick says the family business, open for 35 years, will have to destroy almost the entire inventory in its retail store.

Water will recede but it always returns, causing more damage every time. 

“It came so fast, within five minutes it was down at the road and five minutes later it was all the way to the back,” Cwick said.

On Friday afternoon, the family had already spent more than 10 hours mopping with no end in sight.

“We actually lost more than half of our income that we made the year before,” Cwick said. “That’s really devastating to my family.”

The owners say they do not know what to do next because water levels are not expected to recede anytime soon.

“The smell, the mold, everything from the water just seeping in everywhere into all the wood, into all my merchandise,” Cwick said. “All my jewelry is destroyed.”

Adventure Water Sports is hoping the state can provide disaster assistance so they can keep their business running. Many homes in the neighborhood are also experiencing flooding.

“We desperately need help here,” Cwick said. “There’s nothing more we can do.”

The business does not have flood insurance and says it is not able to get it.

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