Close to 100 animals died at the PETCO store on Harry L Drive during this week’s flood, company officials said Saturday.
Obviously, accidents happen and animals die in floods all the time. What makes this one different is that PETCO was warned to evacuate, and they didn’t.
“We want to stress that this was not carelessness on our associates’ behalf, but a communications lapse from the city to the store in evacuations orders.
We are investigating why we did not receive those evacuation orders from the city if this area was known to flood in the past,” she wrote. “Had we been aware of potential flooding, we would have removed all of the animals from the store as we do in all other locations.”
Oops! Maybe I jumped to conclusions.
Johnson City Mayor Dennis Hannon said:
“With all the flood warnings and evacuation orders that were issued, for them not to go down there is just absolutely disgusting.”
Johnson City Police Chief Joseph T. Zikuski added that the flood warnings were issued by the National Weather Service, and should have been taken seriously.
Who to believe? PETCO, or the Mayor and Police Chief? Still too close to call, so let’s get some more evidence.
As one news report points out, people who lived very close to the store were evacuated. On September 7 at 5:35 PM, Broome County Emergency Management issued a NY-Alert message titled, “Flood in Johnson City at or above levels of 2006 record flood/If you evacuated in 2006 then you need to evacuate now.” That message called for everyone on Petco’s street to evacuate, and predicted that the Susquehanna River would flood “to the same level or above the levels” as it had during a 2006 flood. The National Weather Service also issued warnings.
PETCO should be ashamed of themselves for trying to pass the buck on this one. PETCO corporate has to make this right, and fire those responsible for not heeding the warnings.
- Thousands told to evacuate as flash floods hit East (msnbc.msn.com)