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Flood Frustration?

Marietta Mayor Michael Mullen announced Tuesday afternoon that financial help will soon be available for flood victims through local and county programs, but there are signs that the aftermath of the flooding is taking an emotional toll on some business owners.

A mostly upbeat press conference on post-flood Marietta was punctuated by concerns that not enough is being done to help everyone.

There's no doubt Marietta leaders are trying to put the best face on a difficult situation. How about a three-day celebration called "Ivan-fest?”

"We were handed a lemon and we'll make lemonade," says Marietta Chamber of Commerce President Charlotte Keim. "We're taking the mud and the muck and we're celebrating October 22nd, 23rd and 24th. We're just asking the merchants to be open those days."

Thousands of dollars come in to help those affected by the flooding, much of that money from out-of-town admirers. One business, Brownie's Bakery, which appeared doomed a few days ago, may soon be back on its feet.

"Customers are asking us, 'can we take this machine here and clean it for you?'," says Jay Myers, son of Brownie's owner, Neil Brown. "It's just unbelievable. I guess we'll be back on Front Street. Not right away, but hopefully soon."

But some business owners are frustrated by the lack of attention they've received. They say some parts of Marietta have received more attention than others. The Myers run East of Chicago Pizza on Pike Street. They believe that while concern has been focused on Front Street, independently-run businesses such as theirs have had to fend for themselves.

"We called for dumpsters, we were all told they are all going to Front Street," Brenda Myers says. "When they were getting ready to open Pike Street and we still had knee-deep mud in our parking lot we were told by the city [that] we couldn't push the mud out to the end of the road."

Mayor Mullen says the same cleanup services were available to all Marietta businesses with 30 dump trucks moving debris 24 hours a day. He adds that Pike Street was hardly ignored over the past week.

Meanwhile, East of Chicago plans to reopen Tuesday night, and other Pike Street businesses could be back in business soon.


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