Local businesses deal with sludge left behind by record-setting - KCTV5 News

Local businesses deal with sludge left behind by record-setting flood

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(Emily Sinovic/KCTV) (Emily Sinovic/KCTV)

The water is gone, but business owners are finding the floodwater was far from the worst part.

The businesses around Coach's were clearly hit hard, but businesses a mile away on the Kansas side of the state line sustained a ton of damage.

The Neenan Company at 103rd and State Line has been a family business for three generations.

 “We could actually see it running through the building,” Andrew Neenan said. “Heart stopped, stomach hurt because you know there’s damage at that point. This is a business that we do a lot of business every day. Being down hurts us.”

He was the "lucky" one — the first to experience a soaked showroom and storage area out back, plus the sludge that a record setting flash flood left behind.

The water has receded a bit, but it is still rather dirty down there. If you want to see just how high the water got, take a look at the fridge and you’ll find a fruit drawer full of Indian Creek water that got clear past the second shelf.

How long the cleanup is going to be is always a question mark. Insurance will cover a lot, but it won’t make up for every day they’re closed trying to clear out all of the sludge. As much as $10,000 worth of merchandise was damaged. 

“I would call it sludge,” Neenan said. “Indian Creek Gold. That’s a glass half full way to put it.”

He’s trying to have a sense of humor about something so unbelievable and that may be the only way to handle the stress of this cleanup. 

"You prepare for it," he said. "You build, building to accept it. Last thing you want is for it to happen. No matter what, we’ll clean up, we’ll prevail, we’ll move on, but it’s a long process nobody ever wants to go through."

Every business in the area was feet underwater.

That water gutted one business under about 4 feet of water, leaving a visible water line on the structure.

That business lost a lot of the oils they sell to treat patients with chronic conditions. They’ve spent all day trying to salvage what they can, but no one could’ve prepared them for this.

Eric Banks, who owns the business, said, “It’s severe. It was chest high, the water was. We didn’t know until this morning when we got a few texts and turned on the news. And, as you know, your heart just drops to the floor. It’s devastating.”

All of the business owners are racing the clock. Some said they’d like to try and open tomorrow, but that may be optimistic because no one really knew how extensive this damage would be. That sludge is going to be what keeps a lot of businesses closed for at least a few days. 

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