Florissant stores closed due to flooding; looking for help and answers

FLORISSANT, Mo. – The flooding of three weeks ago left many homeowners and business owners alike struggling with management and cleaning.

Small business owners in Florissant said they were struggling to keep their businesses afloat after their stores were flooded. More than a dozen stores at the Florissant Meadows mall are closed and they are still cleaning up water damage to this day.

“Due to the flooding, we weren’t able to open and actually host classes here at the Sew Hope Community Sewing Room,” said Kacie Starr Long, owner of the Sew Hope Community Sewing Room. “We’re losing revenue, and unfortunately we too, as a place of community, can’t really serve it.”

Starr Long only opened her shop in March. It had to close because of the flood.

“We received over 16 inches of rainwater entering our building. So we just need a full restoration,” she said. “Our walls need to be replaced. We believe some sewing machines were damaged as well.”

She had to throw away several hundred yards of fabric. But she said she had to have volunteers help with the cleaning, and now the landlord has sent a restoration company to remove the floor and replace the drywall.

Despite everything that has happened, she remains positive.

“We’re committed to coming back and being able to open up to the community,” Starr Long said.

A few doors down from their shop is iDeal Furniture. Owner Nader Qasem said 95% of the furniture had to be thrown away — that’s over $180,000 worth of products.

“I think over two feet of water and it stayed there for a whole day. We got here around 7am and couldn’t get in until 4am. I opened the doors, the water started pouring out,” he said.

The companies have a landlord who is responsible for the removal of the drywall and flooring, as well as the power supply. But they don’t have flood insurance.

“We didn’t have flood insurance like everyone else here on the same square. We didn’t know we needed it and when we bought our insurance nobody said to us, ‘Hey, it’s recommended’ because of this and that,” said Qasem.

Despite the losses, like Kacie, he is determined to start over.

Melissa Ingram, the owner of Issa Lifestyle Health and Wellness Yoga Studio, is struggling to fathom the extent of the damage.

“We have so many unanswered questions that we don’t know what to do after something like this happened. Fortunately, homeowners have support, but that’s not for us small business owners,” she said. “And I think it’s important to make the public aware that if we can’t continue our business, we’re going to lose our homes.”

Ingram opened the space six months ago. She lost priceless artwork, products and all yoga mats. Not only did she use it to run a business, she also taught her children from here.

“All personal items are just gone. We have no way of getting that back, and that’s what I mean when I say I don’t know where to start or if I can come back from this,” she said.

But she’s trying to stay optimistic and hold on to hope.

https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/florissant-businesses-closed-due-to-floods-seeking-help-and-answers/ Florissant stores closed due to flooding; looking for help and answers

Sarah Y. Kim

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