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Businesses, CT-A wrecked by flood waters
by L.A. Story
May 04, 2010 | 5084 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Monday morning saw many area business owners and employees already hard at work to begin the exhausting process of assessing, cleaning up and repairing water damage after Sunday’s historic flooding in Corinth and Alcorn County.

Wearing rubber boots and muddied clothes, it was obvious that the employees and volunteers with Corinth Theatre-Arts had already been working hard for hours as lunchtime drew near on Monday. CT-A’s Crossroads Playhouse is located on Fulton Drive, which was among the areas of significant water accumulation Sunday.

The Crossroads Playhouse is no stranger to flooding. Sunday was the fifth time the playhouse has flooded in the past 12 years, according to theatre employees and volunteers. The last time CT-A saw significant flood damage was in 2006 when flood waters in the building were recorded to be about 24 inches, according to one of CT-A’s assistant technical directors, Milton Wallis. Wallis said Sunday’s flood was worse.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it ... this time it reached 30-inches,” said Wallis. The water entered the building and flooded the auditorium area all the way to the back but spared covering the back two rows of seating.

CT-A costumer June Doyle shined a flashlight to display the damage in the “Green Room” where actors stayed and changed between scenes. The flashlight illuminated a muddy mess of wet, overturned furniture, supplies and costumes. CT-A is calling for any and all volunteers with the clean-up effort.

The Alcorn County Sheriff’s Office, also on Fulton Drive, saw significant flooding as well as the shopping center that faces U.S. Highway 72 and is bookended by K-Mart and Kroger.

While all businesses are assessing damage and working at clean-up, Joe Bell, manager of marketing and public relations, Kroger, said the local store is hopeful for re-opening by the end of the week.

Bell said the store had people already working on assessment and cleanup Sunday night and engineers arrived, along with more associates to help, on Monday.

“We met with the Health Department today and walked the store to let them give us the direction on what we need to do,” said Bell.

While the list of work that needed to be done is extensive, Bell said that it could have been a lot worse. He said the flood water came up high enough that the store would have to throw everything away that was located on the bottom shelf throughout the store. Thus far, the store saw no damage to the electrical system, the refrigeration or the cases. He expects that store officials will want the advice and approval of local health inspectors during the process.

“Typically, you want walk it with the Health Inspector initially, then let him re-inspect if for you ... when dealing with the public and food, we go way past the point we need to make sure everything is safe ... another walk or two to make sure everything is appropriate before we open the doors,” said Bell.

An example of the historic flood affecting history is the water damage done to the Coca-Cola Museum, located on Waldron Street, in downtown Corinth. Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works’ Sandy Williams said water reached a depth of about two feet throughout the museum.

The museum originally opened in October, 2007, in celebration of Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works’ 100th anniversary. The museum is filled with historic memorabilia and the water damage could have been worse.

“We had gotten a little water in here before, but nothing like this,” said Williams. “We were fortunate that our archived items have not been damaged so far.”

Williams said they began clean-up efforts at the museum by 9:30 p.m. Sunday night — throwing away “a lot of wet stuff” and assessing how much of their records have been damaged and determining the status of their computer system.

Cass Street’s Southgate Shopping Center took a definite hit with the flood waters. Among the stores damaged was Belk Department Store. Belk Manager Linda Hastings arrived at her store around 6:30 a.m. Monday morning to “mud.”

“It’s bad ... this is one of those times I don’t know what to day,” said Hastings. Hastings said the store saw about 22 inches of water and was left with a muddy mess by the time the waters receded. By lunchtime Monday, she said the phone system was back up and a team should be arriving from Charlotte, N.C., to help get the store back up and running. She said she cannot say when the store will reopen but asks for customers to be patient and the store will open again as soon as possible.

Harper Square Mall stores appear to have skirted major damage, according to Donna Stockton. The parking lot suffered some heavy flooding and some of the water got into the stores but it appeared, as of Monday afternoon, that there was not a lot of damage.

“We were very, very fortunate,” said Stockton. “There was some water blown in by the wind down at Little Caesar’s and some blown in through the doors as Save-A-Lot but no damage. If it had continued raining the way it was on Saturday, we would have been underwater, too. The water had time to run off so when it started up again Sunday, it was like starting all over again. Here [at Spice of Life Books] we sprang some new leaks and the heating and air went out but if we lost anything it was very minor.”
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