Road closure from Hurricane Matthew hurting local businesses

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – While many businesses prepare for the influx of customers, one local business hopes Hurricane Matthew clean-up won’t turn more people away.

Highway 55 West in Kinston collapsed during the flood, which is where Grandma’s Attic is located.

“It’s scary after 32 years being in the business, I’ve never had this before, even with 99’s Floyd,” explained owner Vance Davis.

This is supposed to be the busiest time of the year for the store, selling homemade Christmas decorations. Instead, Davis is spending his cash on advertising to tell customers they’re still open.

“They do see them, said Davis, “but then they say the state signs which way over power mine and they are doing what they are told, and turning around.”

The road collapsed during October’s flood and isn’t expected to be completed until next year. Ronda Oliver is down from Maryland to visit family. She says it wasn’t for her mother in-law, she would have turned around and skipped the store.

“Because of the sign saying road closed, local traffic only, two miles. If you are not familiar with the area, you don’t know how long you have to come down. It could be three miles to the store,” Oliver said.

Davis says that’s the problem. He wants help from DOT, but says he hasn’t gotten any answers. His biggest worry, it’s going to take longer than expected.

Davis said, “I don’t know if I can hang on for six more months, if it would be that. It’s going to be tough.”

If you are planning on going to other local businesses on that road, you need to follow the local traffic signs. All the businesses are before the closed road.

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