Flooding hits Old Towne Portsmouth

Flooding impacts business in Olde Towne Portsmouth on May 16, 2014. (WAVY News)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Flooding hit Old Towne Portsmouth hard Friday. By 10 a.m., a van and car were trapped at the intersection of Washington and High streets.

10 On Your Side talked to the driver of the car. Peter Damian sat for hours waiting for floodwater to recede enough for a tow truck to pull him out. He said he dropped his wife off at work, and then tried to leave. He hit deep water, and the car stalled.

“I had no idea it was that deep,” he said.

Damian said the water reached the floor of the backseat. A tow truck pulled him out around noon.

By that time, the water had receded almost entirely, but it was too late for Mannino’s, an Italian restaurant on High Street.

Part-owner Daris Gavin walked in to about five inches of water, which reached the hostess stand. Clean up included sucking gallons of water out using a shop vacuum, taking the booths away from the wall, and spreading fans throughout the restaurant.

Gavin estimates he lost about $1,000 worth of business, because he had to close down for lunch.

“I guess we’re fortunate, we’ll be able to open up for dinner,” said Gavin.  “At the end of the day, it’s a great day. It’s not the end of the world. It’s terrible that we have to close down for lunch because it’s become – a lot of people come from a lot of places to eat lunch with us now – and we’ve had to turn a lot away, 25 or 30 people.”

Gavin and his employees worked to make sure they could open for dinner Friday night.

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