After the Des Plaines Chiropractic Center was closed by river flooding two times in five years, the center's doctors, Michael Bagby and Wade Whittier, decided that keeping the business in Des Plaines River territory wasn't worth the risk. They bolted for higher ground in Arlington Heights.
The business, now named The Wellness Group, moved May 29 to a one-story office building at 15 S. Dryden Place.
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In 2008 and 2013, flooding from the Des Plaines River left the chiropractic business in 8 to 9 inches of water in its former location at 444 Lee St.
"For the first flood, we were out of business for two weeks," Bagby said. "The second time, it took three months to get back into business."
The floods forced the chiropractic center to replace its carpeting, padding and dry wall.
Bagby said the first flood caused damage to electrical equipment like computers, but they were able to salvage their electrical appliances when they were more prepared for the flood in 2013.
The chiropractic center did receive a loan from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cope with the damage, but there was still the danger of future floods.
"We view this as a step forward to avoid flooding," Bagby said. "If it weren't for flooding, we would't have decided to move."
George Sakas, economic development director with the City of Des Plaines, said he is concerned about how flooding has affected business on that stretch of Lee Street, which includes the McDonald's Museum and the Polo Inn.
"There are ways to flood-proof buildings," Sakas said. "But they are never cheap."
Sakas added that flooding only adds to the challenges the city is facing in that area, which include required building maintenance and an economy that hasn't fully recovered from the recession.
"Any new businesses would have to be floodproofed," Sakas said. "I wish it was an easy problem to solve."