The battle for Miami Beach to raise certain streets so they won’t be prone to flooding has been going on for well over a year now.
Now, businesses are saying it’s a real problem.
Sardinia Restaurant has been at the corner of Purdy Avenue and 18th Street in Miami Beach for more than a decade. Every day its open, the owner says there’s concern.
“Business is hard as it is. And this is making it harder. Every time it rains, we have to panic so hopefully it doesn’t get flooded,” said Tony Gallo, the owner of Sardinia.
Gallo isn’t alone. At Gustavo Braind Hair Studio, which has been at their location for ten years, flooding is a real issue.
“I have many clients coming in with water and mud all over their legs. Some people have crossed from the parking lot to here in canoes. I know it sounds ridiculous,” said Gustavo Briand.
It’s a one-two punch. Floods and insurance; both packing a mean hit. Businesses in the area now have to pay a premium for being below street level.
“For FEMA, anything below street level is considered a basement,” said Gallo.
Sardinia’s says insurance denied a claim last year because he didn’t have a basement policy.
“The new policy went up because we have one claim already and I guess now the risk is higher, so the insurance went up,” said Gallo.
Meanwhile, at Gustavo Briand Hair Studio, the issue is cutting into his profits.
“We haven’t yet renewed the insurance, so it’s going to be continued. I guess – I don’t know what’s going to happen because things change and they have the right to do whatever they need to do,” said Briand.