Shut down by Floyd, area businesses lose thousands
By Lynn R. Parks
In the wake of hurricane Floyd, owners and managers of businesses
in the Sussex Plaza, US 13, Seaford, are totaling their losses.
Overflowing retention ponds around the shopping center flooded the
parking lot and poured water into several of the stores. In addition,
entrances and exits onto US 13 were covered with water and Herring
Run Road was closed at its eastern intersection with US 13.
Access to the center, which includes Wal-Mart, was through Beaver
Dam Heights only.
"We had a lot of items destroyed," said John Harris, parts specialist
at Advance Auto. "We had about 6 inches of water in the store."
The auto parts store was forced to close its doors at noon on Thursday
and did not reopen until 8 a.m. Saturday.
"Water was coming in the front door, in the two side doors and in
the back door," said Harris.
He added that workers had not yet completed an inventory of damaged
items, but that damage costs "will be in the thousands."
Crystal Urena, a stylist at Hair Clip, said that workers at the
beauty shop lost about 40 percent of their week's business when
four inches of water covering the floor forced the shop to close.
Closed all day Thursday and Friday, the shop reopened Saturday morning.
"There was water everywhere," said Urena. "Our rugs were damaged and
the floors are just a mess. When we came in on Saturday and moved
the chairs to clean up, water just poured out of the bottoms."
Shannon Jerman, an employee at Applebee's, said that water was only
about an inch away from getting into the restaurant. "We had water
in the boiler room and on the back deck," she said.
The restaurant was closed Thursday and reopened Friday at 4 p.m. Even
then, patrons were asked not to park in the parking lot, but to use
the drier grassy strip between the restaurant and US 13.
Jerman said that the restaurant suffered no damage. However, general
manager Toby Jarmon said that losses in business totaled "close to
But Danny Tartt, co-manager of the Wal-Mart store, said that business
before and after the storm more than made up for losses incurred when
the store closed Thursday at noon. It reopened 12 hours later and
on Friday enjoyed an "increase in business," he said.
Tartt said that the store closed "in the interests of the safety of
our associates. We wanted them to be home with their families." Since
opening in Seaford three years ago, the store has been open nearly
continually, closing only in celebration of Christmas. Unlike other
stores in the center, Wal-Mart experienced no flooding in its building.
"Except for a few leaks in the back, no water got in here," said Tartt.
Tartt said that Herring Run Road reopened at 1 p.m. Friday and the
entrances and exits on US 13 were clear of water by "late Friday or
early Saturday. People ask me what we did to get rid of the water,
but we didn't have to do anything. It all just drained away."
Tartt added that he "appreciates the cooperation we received from
the city and from the state department of transportation. And I also
appreciate the reaction we saw from local merchants. Everybody was
willing to help, everybody pulled together.
"And the mayor and city manager were out checking on people and on
businesses, surveying the whole city. That just amazed me. I was really
Daniel Swartzentruber, weather observer for NOAA, reported 10.58 inches
of rain fell on his Greenwood location during Thursday and Friday.