This is what happened… Hurricane IDA happened.
Unprecedented rain and with that unprecedented flooding. I showed up to the shop the day after IDA made her way through the area and was hoping for just a wet basement.
I pulled into the parking lot behind the shop and the first thing I noticed is the layer of mud that covered the entire lot and street. I got out of my car and started to walk the short distance from my car to the shop. More things started to become noticeable. The sound of water being pumped from under the shop. The piles of muddy belongings from the residents of the apartments that surround the shop. The look on everyones faces of fear, anger and gloom. Then I walked up to the door of the shop. I notice the stain of the flood water line mid way up the front door. Keep in mind that the front door to the shop is elevated from the street a few feet. It’s starting the dawn on me the devastation that was here the night before.
I try and open the door but it’s swollen shut from the flood water. Still I hope that there is a chance our shop didn’t catch the brunt of IDA. Boy oh boy was I wrong. I finally get the door open by slamming my shoulder into it. I get in and slip on the layer of mud that covered the entire floor and anything below the water line. All of this includes the unique smell of whatever was in the water that saturated everything. You can still see the vibrant colors of painted pieces, walls, etc. but also see them expanding from being submerged in flood water.
Everything inside the shop was effected or completely destroyed from I was learning was a 6-7 foot high flood. I was worried about the call I had to make to my wife and business partner Giuliana. I didn’t know how to properly explain what was going on. I called her and did the best I could to explain. She was on her way.
Giuliana showed up and we assessed the damage. Very little if anything could be saved. It was starting to sink in that the shop as we knew it was gone.
What was worse was the tenents around the shop. We lost a business but they lost everything. We kept that into our perspective as we started our clean up. The volunteers that were helping out in Downingtown were awesome. They did a lot as the days went on and I’m sure are still helping to some extent. The clean up is on it’s way but still so much to be done. It's mind boggling.
We will be back at some point in the near future. It’s going to be a slow process as the shop in Downingtown needs a complete overhaul. It's still sinking in we lost the shop. We just ask for everyone to be patient and please understand what it will take to be back in business.