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Businesses cleaning up after flooding caused by water main break
POULSBO — As an interior designer, Connie Wyland relies on her showroom displays to show potential clients carpet, tile, kitchen cabinets and other materials. Much of that was destroyed over the weekend, when a water pipe broke on Bond Avenue and flooded her business and its neighbors. “This is thousands upon thousands of dollars [of damage],” she said.
Around three inches of water and mud encroached on the business center on the corner of Bond Road and Front Street, turning offices into construction zones.
The other businesses affected, Pioneer Financial and Edward Jones, are working through the damages to stay open and serve their customers. With flooring ripped up and humidifiers blowing loudly, business is a little hectic for Becky Woodworth, branch administrator at Edward Jones.
“We’re weathering the storm,” she said. Woodworth and financial advisor Ed McAvoy relocated to a temporary location while their office is being renovated, but are still able to serve clients in Poulsbo through their office phone number.
On Sunday around 3 a.m., police patrol reported flooding on the corner of Bond Road and Front Street. Maintenance workers discovered an 8-inch water pipe had burst causing water, sand and mud to rush out storm drains and up through a manhole in the parking lot of Wyland, Edward Jones and Pioneer. Water ran downhill into the parking lot of Liberty Bay Auto.
Top floor businesses Sound Naturopathic Clinic, Salon Organics and Medpond were undamaged.
Barry Loveless, director of public works, said the flood was caused by an old pipe, sections of which had been replaced in the past, but this particular section “split open spontaneously.”
“[The pipe] happens to be part of the system where there was quite a bit of pressure on it,” he said.
Maintenance worked Sunday to replace the pipe section and went into the rainy Monday cleaning up. The pipe was embedded in sand, which was pushed to the surface and covered the parking lot with several inches of water and sand, according to Wyland and Woodworth.
The water, which was drinking water, was shut off about an hour after the flooding was reported, Loveless said.
Dave Krafsky, general manager of Liberty Bay Auto Center, said he thought the city did an amazing job helping him clean up. The sand was 6-inches deep, about 60 feet across the parking lot leading to Liberty Bay, according to Krafsky. When he arrived to work early Monday morning, he saw the sand swept away and the lot’s gravel replaced by the city. The center’s mechanical garage had also been flooded, but was ready for work by Monday.
Wyland hasn’t had the same luck getting her business back on track. She said she’s having trouble getting her insurance to cover the damage.
“I’ve been in business for 30 years and never made a claim,” she said. “People need to be careful; read [your] policies.” She said the showroom is still open, but is also working out of her home and bringing samples to client’s homes for now.
Joe Prevost, mortgage broker and owner of Pioneer Financial, sat at his desk Wednesday, squeezed in the front of his shop, in what looked like a construction zone. He, like the Edward Jones office, was flooded with three inches of water and has to replace the flooring.
“I was overwhelmed,” he said when he came to the scene on Sunday morning. “There was a whole lot of water in my space ... The parking lot was a lake.”
Prevost said his main concern was security, and made sure all the data was recovered and secure for his clients. Although work space might be a challenge, he hasn’t lost touch with any of his clients and loans are processing without a hitch.
He also commended the building’s landlords, Ruth and Steve Urand, for their support.
Ruth Urand, who also owns the upstairs clinic and salon, said she appreciated the timeliness of the city’s clean up efforts, but the city should take more responsibility with the damages. Her husband, Steve, was told by Mayor Becky Erickson the city has no liability in this case.