Ferguson resembles ghost town with businesses boarded up ahead of Michael Brown grand jury decision

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Ferguson resembles ghost town with businesses boarded up ahead of Michael Brown grand jury decision
FERGUSON, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 14: Jake Nguyen, owner of Furniture Mattresses For Less on West Florissant Ave, boards up the windows to his store in preparation for possible protests after the Grand Jury releases their decision on whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on November 14, 2014. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 15: A woman walks past the boarded-up front of the Prime Time Barber and Beauty shop on West Florissant Street November 15, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Business has dropped nearly 80 percent at the shop since the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. According to the shop owner, patrons have been reluctant to come into the area since rioting erupted near the shop following Brown's death. Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of those riots if the grand jury investigating the shooting does not find justification to prosecute Wilson. The grand jurys decision is expected sometime in November. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 14: Jake Nguyen, owner of Furniture Mattresses For Less on West Florissant Ave, boards up the windows to his store in preparation for possible protests after the Grand Jury releases their decision on whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on November 14, 2014. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 14: Workers board up the windows of Furniture Mattresses For Less on West Florissant Ave in preparation for possible protests after the Grand Jury releases their decision on whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on November 14, 2014. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 14: Workers board up the windows of Furniture Mattresses For Less on West Florissant Ave in preparation for possible protests after the Grand Jury releases their decision on whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on November 14, 2014. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 14: Workers board up the windows of Furniture Mattresses For Less on West Florissant Ave in preparation for possible protests after the Grand Jury releases their decision on whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on November 14, 2014. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 14: Workers board up the windows of Furniture Mattresses For Less on West Florissant Ave in preparation for possible protests after the Grand Jury releases their decision on whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on November 14, 2014. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Gonz Jove paints a mural on the boarded-up windows of the Better Family Living community services center located in a strip mall along West Florissant Street on November 10, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Many businesses along West Florissant have recently been boarded-up as business owners wait for the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Many of the stores along the street were looted and vandalized during rioting which broke out after Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of those riots if the grand jury investigating the shooting does not find justification to prosecute Wilson. The grand jurys decision is expected sometime in November. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Gonz Jove paints a mural on the boarded-up windows of the Better Family Living community services center located in a strip mall along West Florissant Street on November 10, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Many businesses along West Florissant have recently been boarded-up as business owners wait for the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Many of the stores along the street were looted and vandalized during rioting which broke out after Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of those riots if the grand jury investigating the shooting does not find justification to prosecute Wilson. The grand jurys decision is expected sometime in November. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 17: Melisa Hutchings (L), Tracy Reust and Daniel Wentz walk past a sign reading, 'Ferguson Proud Pray for Peace and Progress,' as they carry a cat from the Ferguson Animal Hospital where they placed plywood on the windows to try to protect the business from any violent reaction to the grand jury decision on November 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. The area around St Louis, Missouri prepares for the release of the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 17: Bob McCarty and his son, Sam McCarty place plywood over the windows of their business, Painted Effects, as they prepare to try to protect it from any violent reaction to the grand jury decision on November 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. The area around St Louis, Missouri prepares for the release of the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 17: Tony (L) and Tim, who didn't want to provide their last names, place plywood over a window as they prepare to try to protect a business from any violent reaction to the grand jury decision on November 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. The area around St Louis, Missouri prepares for the release of the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 14: Plywood covers the glass front of a strip mall along West Florissant Street on November 14, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Many businesses along West Florissant are boarded-up as residents prepare for the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Many of the stores along the street were looted and vandalized during rioting which broke out after Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of those riots if the grand jury investigating the shooting does not find justification to prosecute Wilson. The grand jurys decision is expected sometime in November. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 12: Plywood covers the glass front of a strip mall along West Florissant Street on November 12, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Many businesses along West Florissant are boarded-up as residents prepare for the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Many of the stores along the street were looted and vandalized during rioting which broke out after Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of those riots if the grand jury investigating the shooting does not find justification to prosecute Wilson. The grand jury's decision is expected sometime in November. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 12: Plywood covers the glass front of a strip mall along West Florissant Street on November 12, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Many businesses along West Florissant are boarded-up as residents prepare for the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Many of the stores along the street were looted and vandalized during rioting which broke out after Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of those riots if the grand jury investigating the shooting does not find justification to prosecute Wilson. The grand jury's decision is expected sometime in November. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Plywood covers the glass front of stores in a strip mall on South Florissant Street near the Police Station, on November 10, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Many businesses in Ferguson have been boarded-up to prevent damage as business owners prepare for the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Businesses in Ferguson were looted and vandalized during rioting which broke out after Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of those riots if the grand jury investigating the shooting does not find justification to prosecute Wilson. The grand jurys decision is expected sometime in November. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Plywood covers the glass front of stores in a strip mall on South Florissant Street near the Police Station, on November 10, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Many businesses in Ferguson have been boarded-up to prevent damage as business owners prepare for the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Businesses in Ferguson were looted and vandalized during rioting which broke out after Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of those riots if the grand jury investigating the shooting does not find justification to prosecute Wilson. The grand jurys decision is expected sometime in November. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Plywood covers the glass fronts of stores in a strip mall along West Florissant Street, on November 10, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Many businesses along West Florissant have recently been boarded-up as business owners wait for the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Many of the stores along the street were looted and vandalized during rioting which broke out after Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of those riots if the grand jury investigating the shooting does not find justification to prosecute Wilson. The grand jurys decision is expected sometime in November. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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By RYAN GORMAN

As the nation awaits the decision of a grand jury reviewing the Michael Brown murder case, anxious Ferguson shopkeepers are wasting no time shoring up their businesses to protect against rioters.

Ghostly pictures are emerging from the St. Louis suburb of businesses being boarded up as if the storm of the century is about to blow through -- and it just might no matter how the grand jury handles Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Weeks of grand jury deliberations are expected to end at any time, and the decision could spark another round of violent protests similar to those seen after Wilson fatally shot Brown following a August 9 altercation.

The white officer has admitted killing the unarmed black teenager, but claims he did so in self-defense.

Opinions are sharply divided over the shooting death, which echoes George Zimmerman fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, on a Florida street in 2012.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon activated the National Guard on Monday and also declared a state of emergency in St. Louis County.

Multiple law enforcement agencies have assumed responsibility for maintaining order and troops are on standby should police lose control of the situation.

Protesters have already voiced concern that law enforcement will aggressively crack down similar to how the St. Louis County police escalated violence back in August.

Uncertainty over what the grand jury will do, and how the throngs of protesters will react, has left business owners with only one option: Board up and hunker down.

MO Gov. Jay Nixon Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Grand Jury Decision

Related links:
Missouri governor declares state of emergency in Ferguson ahead of Darren Wilson grand jury decision
National Guard prepares for more Ferguson unrest
Michael Brown protesters stage 'die-in' in downtown St. Louis
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