Heavy rain causes headaches for Downtown Fresno business

For many, Thursday night's downpour was an inconvenience, but for others like Ian Cookson the cost was much higher.

"That's at least today and most likely tomorrow that we're not going to have a revenue or be able to pay the bills or employees and things like that," said Cookson, the owner of Libelula in Downtown Fresno. The restaurant opened about three months ago but got more than it bargained for after rainwater poured into the kitchen through the ceiling on Thursday.

The restaurant is built into the Crest Theater, which has been in Downtown Fresno since 1949.

"Over 60 years and however many gallons of water came down last night, it all came down at once in our kitchen," said Cookson with a laugh.

Thursday's rain also caused some issues and delays as roadways flooded, but the city said the drainage system worked like it was supposed to.

"If you were to open up your faucet in your sink, the water's going to flow down, no problem, but if you were to grab a bucket all that water is going to collect because it can't get through that pipe at one time," said Jaime Sandoval, Communications Coordinator for the City of Fresno.

Most city roads were cleared by Friday morning, but Cookson's problem will persist into the weekend. The restaurant was closed on Friday and will likely be closed on Saturday and potentially beyond as the damage is assessed. Despite the issues, Cookson is staying positive.

"There's no way to control things like this so just count your blessings and be glad nobody got hurt," he said. "We're just happy we're not going to be closed forever."

If you have storm-related issues and live inside the Fresno city limits, you can call 311 to report issues.
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