Rainbow Co-Op facing flooding problems

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Rainbow Co-Op in Jackson battled its fourth flood this year.

It comes from heavy rainfalls falling down the back of the building, going into the store and costing thousands in cleanup.

“Since 2002 this building is here, water just accumulates back here and has nowhere to go,” says Luke Lundemo, the former CEO of the Co-op, he says the building has flooded nearly 30 times since then. “This building was given a building permit without any hydrologic study done,” claims Lundemo. He says because of the addition it’s disturbed drainage.

“And the city admitted in 2005 that it was their responsibility,” says Lundemo. “They (the city) put in this drain here and connected it to a pipe that goes right out to the edge of the street.” The former CEO says the city of Jackson attempted another time to fix the issue. “Two years ago we had them come back out, and they extended a larger pipe from the side of the street to a larger storm sewer pipe running down the middle of Fondren place here, and we thought that would help.”

The Rainbow Co-Op flooded in 2013 as well and was forced to close its doors for a period.

“It wasn’t our fault for sure, the city made a mistake, and I think the city should take responsibility for it,” says Lundemo.

WJTV reached out to the city of Jackson, and Councilman Ashby Foote came by for a firsthand look at the problem.

“We certainly have to do what we can to fix it. We’re the city government we’ve got to step forward, and if it’s something we don’t, we can’t handle we need to step forward and ask the state government or the feds or Corp. of Engineers to help us with drainage issues. A lot of these things have been around for 200 years,” says Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote when asked if the city should be responsible for the damage.  “We need to address these issues and it’s an opportunity for the mayor to step forward and take some action that can be constructive and be appreciated by the citizens.”

Rainbow representatives say they plan to attend the July 18th city council meeting.

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