Bloomington Garden Center flooded following city construction

- The owners of a Bloomington business say water damage is threatening to drown them in debt, and they blame the city for their troubles.

The Bloomington Garden Center is a family-owned nursery on Old Cedar Avenue. Owners Erik and Barb Pederson say they first realized there was a problem when their garage flooded this past December.

"It flowed. It was the coldest day of the year and there was running water,” said Barb Pederson. "We've had water running non-stop since December 30."

The Pedersons believe a nearby road project has displaced the groundwater, sending it into their garage, parking lot, and nursery. 

“This is the river valley so there’s seepages everywhere, which we understand, but because they cut through everything from the top of the hill all the way down, they’ve changed the path of the water,” said Barb Pederson.

CenterPoint Energy said they’ve worked closely with the Pedersons to address their concerns, but the company does not believe its nearby piping project is the cause of the problem. The city of Bloomington also denied responsibility for the flooding, claiming ground water flows change from year to year. City engineers said that is likely the cause of the issue.

“Usually we can be proactive and understand where the water is going to go but when it just gets dumped on us like this, it makes work a little difficult,” said Erik Pederson.

Repairs will cost the family-owned nursery more than $100,000. 

“We’re not going to let the city defeat us,” said Barb Pederson. “We’re going to be their oldest business in Bloomington. We’re going to make it to 100 [years in business] no matter what they do to us.” 

In an e-mail CenterPoint Energy told Fox 9 they don’t believe their project is the cause of the flooding. 

“Our actual project location was 90 feet away from the area of concern; however, as a good neighbor and because we care about our customers, we provided them help when they reported a backed-up drain tile that was not associated with any work we did,” Center Point Energy said in the e-mail. 

The family-owned nursery is the oldest business in the City of Bloomington. They opened their doors in 1919.

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