Flood moves many across town - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Flood moves many across town

July 7, 2004

Albany- Patricia Porter has been filling orders for almost 11 years.

She owns Charlie and Pearl's Chicken in South Albany. She and her husband left good jobs to become small business owners.

"Sometimes you kind of want to do something for yourself that benefits you," she said. "And it's not necessarily for the money."

Less then a year after they bought the place, mother nature had plans of her own leaving everything in South Albany under water. From Patricia's perspective, the flood wasn't so bad for business.

"Oh, it was a blessing, truly it was a blessing," she said. "The flood came and it gave us time to come in and redo some of the stuff that we wanted to do prior to opening up in the first place."

But the flood waters left a lot less people to feed.

Here's the proof. More people live and work in Northwest Albany now. The population is up 20 percent since before the flood. It's down 7 percent in South Albany.

"There was a lot of devastation down there and I know a lot of them did not build back," said County Commissioner Lamar Hudgins.

Many of those once flooded neighborhoods are now parks instead of booming businesses and residential areas.

"When you get the concentration of people, that's where businesses like to build," said Hudgins, who's also on the Economic Development Commission.

But some business owners know there are still people to serve. Not only do the Porter's own their restaurant, but they own the whole shopping center it's located in on South Jefferson. They know it's not the fastest growing area in Albany, but say it's important too and the area has seen some growth.

"Somebody has to be over here for the people of south," she said.

She's determined to be one of them as long as there are hungry people to feed and orders to fill.

posted at 6:36 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com