Owners of River Road businesses assess flood damage and begin to clean up
The Ohio River is finally receding, and Stacey Youngs-McDaniel has been working to assess the damage at Harrods Creek Tavern.
The Ohio River is finally receding, and Stacey Youngs-McDaniel has been working to assess the damage at Harrods Creek Tavern. The bar will need “new flooring, new bathrooms, new everything,” she said.
“There's a lot of people that lost their homes and their businesses,” said Youngs-McDaniel, the general manager of the tavern.
McDaniel felt helpless as the bar became a swimming pool.
“I just watched it just keep creeping up the stairs,” she said.
Some kitchen appliances and furniture were saved, but the whole place has to be gutted. She'll then shift her focus to pass a series of inspections to reopen.
“There’s a kill system for the walls, but it's heavy duty industrial to make sure there’s [nothing growing]," she said. "So everything will have to be inspected by the Health Department before we can open."
And as McDaniel steps back and looks at the devastation, she said she won’t let it drown the hope she has to reopen for St. Patrick’s Day.
“The sense of community here, [I’m getting] teary,” she said. “Everybody just bonds together, and they're making it happen.”
Up Harrods Creek closer to the Ohio River, Captain’s Quarters is its own island, only reachable by boat.
"We had about nine feet of water in the building,” co-owner Andrew Masterson said.
A lot has to happen before customers can come back to the riverside restaurant.
“We've been doing it for a long time,” Masterson said. “We've been through floods that are much worse than this one, and hopefully they have confidence in us that we know what we are doing -- making sure everything is clean, the temperature on the hot water is good, and the dish washer is working well -- that there is no puddling water any place. It's just a standard inspection.”
Captain's Quarters aims to reopen in three weeks.
Elsewhere, the Harrods Creek Post office will be mostly gutted. Water reached up to the mail boxes feet off the ground. River Road BBQ took in about nine feet of water. The owners there haven't been able to get inside to see the damage and don't know when they can reopen.
“Hopefully we can get in on Sunday to assess the damage and begin cleanup by Monday,” General Manager Krissy Davis Higgins said. “It will take time to clean everything out, replace all the drywall and paint, but we are determined to be back open and operating as soon as we can. Our hope is to open our doors as soon as mid-March and to celebrate with a reopening party.”
Galen College of Nursing has moved classes out of its buildings on River Road and Zorn Avenue. It hopes to move classes back on Monday.
“We need to wait for safety clearance and power of course and then the cleaning crews,” Galen Senior Director of Marketing Anna Kitson said. “St. Matthews Episcopal Church has said we are welcome back next week, but we will work as hard as we can not to have to do that.”
Crews were back in the Galen College buildings Thursday for the first time.
“We were very fortunate,” Kitson said. “We have two levels of parking garages on the bottom that were covered, and we were fortunate to only have a little in the lobby. Mostly all the mud on the grounds and the road leading to our college.”
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