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Businesses concerned over South Haven flooding, event cancellation

This week the City of South Haven cancelled their annual Fourth of July celebration that draws tourists from across the state
Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 17:30:15-05

Boat rental business owners are worried that they may soon have to close their doors due to continued flooding in the area and the cancellation of an annual tourist-heavy celebration.

Andrew and Suzanne Cwick own Adventure Watersports on Dunkley Avenue. Suzanne's father started the boat and jet-ski rental business about 35-years-ago. The couple, along with their young daughter Sophie, moved the business into this new building about 4-years-ago.

“This is like my baby. I took this over from my dad and it's been a family project my entire life," Suzanne told FOX 17 Friday afternoon.

But now the Cwicks say they are at risk of having to shutter their business.

We jokingly say at some point we may be able to start launching our fleet from our front doorstep,” Andrew said. Starting last summer, flood waters have been wreaking havoc on the roads around Adventure Watersport s.

“Last season was absolutely devastating to us. I had to coin the phrase, all roads that lead to Adventure Watersports are essentially closed or waterlogged," Andrew said Friday.

Much of the water has made it's way inside their building. “We don’t want to go anywhere else, but like the season last year and things predicted to go the way they are, it could be a very devastating blow for us,"he said.

As a result of flooding seen all over South Haven, the city has made the decision to cancel it's annual Fourth of July celebration, citing safety concerns.

South Haven city manager Brian Dissette said in a statement Thursday, "The safety of those staging the show, along with those watching, is our primary concern. With Lake Michigan at record levels, we all agreed it would be unsafe to try and host the fireworks off the North Pier, which is really the only place where we could safely launch them and be far enough away from residential neighborhoods.”

Now the Cwick family is worried about how this cancellation and the continued flooding in the area will affect their bottom line. The annual Fourth of July celebration brings in crowds of tourists.

Suzanne is determined to keep the family business alive. Saying Friday, "It is imperative for our community, it is imperative for every business here in South Haven that we fix the problem and not just stop everything.”