It's been a week since torrential rains flooded the area, but some Rochester business are still recovering.
Only two out of six trucks at Channel One Regional Food Bank still functioned after flooding along Woodlake Drive and 35th Street Southwest on the morning of June 28. Many other businesses along Woodlake Drive sustained damage after the drain for the businesses backed up.
On June 28, staff from Channel One discovered that water was blocking the entrance to their building, and the food bank’s fleet of six trucks was submerged.
An employee waded into the water and was able to get the trucks to dry ground, but when staff tried to start the trucks the following Monday only two fired up. The building and the food were not damaged, but the loss of the trucks has a major effect on what services Channel One is able to provide.
“As a food bank we get all this food in, it's kinda like we are a hub,” said Jessica Sund, communications and events manager at Channel One. "We distribute it to different food shelves and food pantries all across those counties that we serve.”
Channel One services 180 food shelves and pantries across 14 counties. Without the trucks, Channel One is not be able to do all of the full routes that it typically does with the trucks, which includes delivering food, picking up food and rescuing food that would have been thrown out.
“It’s leaving some gaps in our services, which is unfortunate,” Sund said.
There have been many offers from the community to clean or drive some of the routes, but Sund says there is nothing to clean and because of the liability community members can't transport food. The best help the community can provide is donations.
“All in all, we were very lucky that the water did not enter the facility,” Sund said.
Families First and Southeast Services Cooperative were not so lucky. Those two buildings were flooded with approximately three inches of water.
Two staff members for Families First were in the building when the water around the organization's building started to rise at 5:30 a.m. The staff members started putting electronics and materials up on tables, which saved computers and printers from damage.
While electronics in the building were able to be saved, seven agency vehicles were damaged beyond repair. The vehicles were used by staff to make home visits as a part of Head Start and to visit child care providers. None of the organization's buses were damaged.
"I think we got hit as hard as anybody," said Jon Losness, the executive director of Families First.
Head Start does not run through the summer, so none of the services provided by Families First have been affected by the flooding. Families First was able to move all main office operations to The Place, the building that houses the Boys and Girls Club. There was no lapse in office operations.
Losness said that it might take several weeks for the building to be repaired.
Southeast Services Cooperative Wood Lake Conference Center was also flooded, resulting in damage to offices and a meeting space.
Workers were able to put furniture and electronics in rooms that didn't flood, preventing more extensive damage.
On Friday, crews were just finishing up clearing out all the damaged materials. The clean-up also included picking up cornstalks carried by the water from a nearby field.Walston reported that they filled two dumpsters with the plants from their property.
Next week, the rebuilding process will start. Dale Walston, the director of operations for Southeast Services Cooperative, said he hopes the conference center will be up and running by August.
"If it could happen at a good time, this is probably it," Walston said. July is the slowest month at the conference center.
While it is still too soon to tell how much the damage might cost, Southeast Service Cooperative did have flood insurance for the building.
Walston has been thinking about flooding since the building was purchased because it is located so close to creek and a pond.
Many of the business that were flooded have been in the location for over twenty years and have never been flooded. Walston had never even seen the drainage ditch more than half full.
"You just never know what could happen," he said.