Some Windsor business owners plan to move following flooding damage

WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCT) – Windsor residents are still reeling from the flooding that struck Bertie County. While some Windsor business owners are working to reopen their stores, others are simply cutting their losses.

Timberlands Unlimited owner David Jennette said he plans to move.

“I’m going to try and stay in Windsor and try to stay local,” Jennette said. “It’s where I am. It’s where my business has been established, but I’m not going to stay in this building.”

Jenette owns a few businesses in town, and he said each time it floods he loses around $40,000.

“My clients are not getting the service they need, and we may lose business because of it,” Jenette said.

Jenette is not alone. Hammerhead’s Oyster Bar owner Heather Lawicki said she is living a nightmare after finding out her insurance doesn’t cover flooding.

“We are looking forward to starting over and starting fresh and making a new game plan, because what we had in mind has just fallen through,” Lawicki said.

She is not moving back into the current space and has even thought about moving back to Nashville and starting fresh.

“I’ve had to call people and let them know ‘I’m sorry, but I don’t have a job for you anymore,’ and that’s one of the hardest parts, because a lot of our employees either have children or literally just had a baby,” said Lawicki.

Officials from the town of Windsor said it is sad people want to leave the downtown area, but they understand why and hope people stay in the community. Many other business owners are still determining whether to reopen or cut their losses as well.

Besides the damaged businesses and homes, the Windsor Craftsman and Farmers Museum also faces minor damages.

No major artifacts were ruined during the flood, according to restoration specialist Reid Thomas. He worked with people from the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to clean hundreds of artifacts Tuesday.

“We are actually doing triage (on) items that were submerged under water,” Thomas said. “We are taking them and cleaning them like the leather and then eventually going to the wood items and the metal items.”

They used a tiny paintbrush to go over each detail to make sure nothing is missed, so mold doesn’t grow.

Thomas said crews will continue to make sure all the artifacts are cleaned properly before reopening.

While the museum recovered its artifacts, llamas, alpacas and birds were returned to the zoo in Windsor.

Zoo keepers released the animals when flood waters got high, and due to the potential for more rain, many of the other animals are at a local farm and will be returned to the zoo in the next week.

 

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