Flood waters forcing Sloan business owner into retirement

Omar Ali points to water that flooded his business on August 8th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Omar Ali points to water that flooded his business on August 8th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

SLOAN – Omar Ali tries to run his auction business, A to Z Auctions out of a nondescript building on the property of M&M U-Pull-It at 2150 William Street but whenever it rains his business floods out.

“As a business owner, I have lost a lot of customers.  The building should be condemned because of mildew and the water.  People don’t like to come in with the water in the building all the time,” Mr. Ali said.

Wednesday was no different.  A good three inches of water poured into his auction house soaking anything that was on the concrete floor.

Water flooded Omar Ali's business on William Street on August 8th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Water flooded Omar Ali’s business on William Street on August 8th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

“In the past two years, I’ve lost 90 percent of my customers.  I’ve lost over $100,000 in two years here from lost merchandise, product and people not coming in to make sales.”

He has conducted business out of the building for the past 48-years, and the problems started a few years ago when the parking lot was paved by his landlord.

 “They raised it over two inches, and every time it rains this is the low spot in the parking lot, so all the water and pollution comes right in.”

After Wednesday’s flood, he called the Cheektowaga Police and Sloan Active Hose Company to document the issue but the damage has been done, and he can no longer keep rebooting his business after every rainstorm.

“I have to get out,” he said. “After 48-years in the same building.  We opened here on a Labor Day, and we’re going to close on Labor Day.  I want to thank all of [my customers] because they put up with a lot of things in here.”

Mr. Ali says he will retire to his farm in Alden.

The property owner of M&M U-Pull-It was not in when Cheektowaga Chronicle phoned early Wednesday afternoon.  An employee said our request for comment would be passed on.

 

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