Flood and Recovery
On February 28, 2011, the North Fork Creek, part of which runs beneath the Lehman's store, overflowed its banks, flash flooding the store. The 50-year flood was caused by thawing temperatures, an ice and snow pack that clogged a five-foot culvert that drained water away from the store site, and a storm that brought 1/2 inch of rain in less than 15 minutes.
The flood sent 18 inches of muddy water through the business that crested at 3 feet in some parts of the structure. The water moved so quickly that it carried an 18 cubic foot refrigerator across the length of the store. Without flood insurance, Lehman's was left to absorb an estimated $100,000 in damage.
As the flood occurred in the early morning hours of the day and lasted less than three hours, Lehman's employees were advised to report to work dressed for cleanup. Hearing word of the flood, many members of the community turned out to help, offering labor, equipment or food for the workers. Because of this, Lehman's was able to open their doors on a limited basis thirty hours later.
Over the course of the next week, the store reopened different departments each day. By Saturday, March 5, all but two were in operation, in time for a local machinery auction that brought many customers into Kidron. At that time Lehman's began a sale, deeply discounting products that were cosmetically damaged but functional, or whose packaging was damaged by the rising water.
The wood-burning stove department, which was the most heavily damaged by the flood, was the last to reopen. It did so on April 9, 2011.
Read more about this topic: Lehman's Hardware
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