Bob and Carmela Brown take a break after finishing the cleanup and re-opening of the Antique Mall for business.
by Dave Warner
The Antique Mall on West Mill Street re-opened Tuesday morning after completing cleanup work from the Halloween flooding of the Mohawk River.
The tenants in the building texted manager Bob Brown on Friday night that water was starting to come in the front door of the building. “We drove in and we were sitting outside in the parking lot watching the water rise. We thought we could go in and raise some things off the ground, but the police didn’t want us to enter the building. We had to evacuate the tenants on the third floor.”
The basement and at least 4-5 inches up on the first floor of the building flooded, filling the building with mud and debris. There was nothing to do, so the Browns decided to drive back home and come back early Saturday morning.
“I brought in my rubber boots and waded in where it was the most shallow and it was just mud all over everything,” said Bob.
But what happened next according to the couple, was just amazing.
“Dealers started floating in and everybody just pitched in and started working and cleaning. The tenants and their grandfather (Orlando and Rachelle Guitian, founders of Technology Innovation Lab of Texas) came in and helped us clean. It was just amazing – the team effort,” said Bob.
Carmela said that once the water receded, they were left with about an inch of mud on the first floor. “We all lost about $100-$200 worth of things that were on the floor or on the bottom level shelves. Collectively, if you add it all up, it’s about $2,500 worth of merchandise.”
The Browns said that they had been having some work done at their house by Branck Construction out of Frankfort and that they just came by with a crew and equipment and went to work at no charge.
“They completely swept out the entire parking lot and graded the dirt area. They then drained the elevator and helped open the trap door and lent us a barn fan that’s been running every day since then, to dry it out,” said Carmela.
She said, “I can’t even tell you how saintly they’ve been. They hauled eight loads of debris out at no cost. Just kind, kind.”
Ann Street Diner, Stewarts, McDonald’s, Price Chopper and others donated food to the people who were doing the cleanup.