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Business owners clean up after flash floods

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DENVER — Denver business owners spent Thursday cleaning up after Wednesday’s flash flooding sent waves of water crashing in to storefronts.

It looked as if the businesses were built in the middle of a lake.

“Like a fishbowl,” said Stephanie Karakitsios, the owner of Antiques Etc., on East Colfax and Ivy St.

This cell phone video captured through the windows of neighboring business, H & E Furniture, shows a just what shop owners were up against during last night’s flash flooding.

“A very long, 12-foot bench. It probably weighs about 100 pounds. It literally floated down Colfax a block,” said Karakitsios.

Karakitsios said, during the storm each passing car sent waves of water pouring in leaving her employees, customers and even neighboring businesses owners scrambling to get all the antiques off the floor, safe from water.

“There was about an inch of water throughout Antiques Etc., a waterfall going down my steps,” she said.

Early Thursday morning the cleanup began. A restoration company sucked puddles of water from the floors.

“Oh my gosh, gallons and gallons and gallons and gallons,” Karakitsios exclaimed.

Around the shop, dozens of fans helped dry out the store.

“Between my employees and the people that were shopping we were able to get all of our expensive and all of our nice things up off the ground and we were able to protect all of that,” she said.

Businesses along Colfax say the root of the problem is inadequate storm drains, saying when the storm drains clog up, they get flooded.

Two miles down the road Alfanis Barbershop shared a similar story.

“It had actually filled up the gutter and then just overflowed over the sidewalk and it pushed the door open,” said barber, Harold Blair.

Forced to roll-up their pant legs and continue to cut hair, others working at the time of the storm used squeegees to push the water back out.

“Everything is still waterlogged. The mats will have to be pulled and try to dry the place out,” Blair said Thursday.

And as business continues, so does talk of the great lake that took over Colfax.

“We had a little flood yesterday,” Alfanis Barbershop owner Arthur Simonov said to a customer sitting in his chair.

“I`ve never seen anything like that. In the 30 years I`ve been in Colorado I`ve never seen that happen,” said Blair.

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