MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — Business owners in the recently flooded Valley Center shopping center in Mt. Juliet received more grim news this week, as they won’t be able to resume business for quite some time.
They were told they would need to quickly pack things up and make room for demolition and construction crews.
Memo’s Mexican Kitchen wrote on Facebook that they had to move out, not knowing for how long and that they needed supplies. At the time of this writing, they fulfilled that need with generous donations from the community.
A few doors down, at Hammer & Stain DIY Workshop, the floors are dry, but eyes are not.
“On Tuesday they told us we had to move everything out,” Kathy Stover said, co-owner of the studio. “I sat down and cried, then the Mt. Juliet women’s group we belong to walked in the door and said here are, boxes, tape, and bubble wrap. They prayed with us and I was like ‘I gotta get my butt off the ground and wipe my tears and keep going, that’s all you can do.”
The owners were told flood mitigation may take anywhere from 40-60 days as most of the flooring and dry wall is ruined.
Now, other than a few dozen storage pods, the Valley Center parking lot sits empty.
Valon Arifi, owner of Calabria Brick Oven Pizzeria says he hopes to back up and running within a month. The restaurant fell victim to rougly 16 inches of water and $30,000-$50,000 in damages.
“It’s a huge responsibility for us,” Arifi said. “Thinking about our employees and how they’re going to survive the next two to four weeks while they’re not making money.”
A GoFundMe page was recently created to help those employees.
Despite the circumstances, the two owners News 2 spoke with say they’re proud of the plaza and they’ll be packing their patience and staying put for the time being.