Manitou businesses in flash flood zone think about future
More businesses opened their doors Wednesday after being shut down for several days to clean up the muddy mess Friday's flash flood left behind. However, some businesses said the future is uncertain.
A flash flood tore through Manitou Springs Friday. It flooded lower-levels and garages for businesses located along Manitou and Canon avenues in the city's downtown. Volunteers and store owners worked long hours shoveling mud and cleaning off merchandise to help stores reopen as quickly as possible.
Janis Hawley owns the Taos Maos. Friday's flash flood covered her lower-level with a thick layer of mud. She knows it's a problem she could face repeatedly for the next 10 years. Right now, she plans to stay.
"Unfortunately I think in the next couple of years or so I think there will be a number of people pulling out," said Hawley. "After a while, people will just give up and I think there are some that already have."
Safron of Manitou Springs said on it's Facebook page, "We CANNOT return to 720 Manitou Ave. Safron would like to, but the risk is just to high." The post went on to say, "We are no where ready to give up this shop!" and asked its Facebook followers for "Ideas, available rental spaces, brainstorming."
Angie Findley ran an online store out of the basement of Stick 'Em Up. The mud covered $75,000 of merchandise she planned to sell online. The decal and sign store will stay but she said on Sunday she would move merchandise for her eBay endeavor elsewhere.
The Dulcimer shop has weathered ups and downs in the past. The Dulcimer's Donna Ford remembers slow times in the 1970s when most businesses were seasonal and their store worked to stay open in the winter months.
The flash flood damaged motors on some of the shop's machinery used to build musical instruments. Some machines cost upwards of $10,000.
"The good news is our building is paid for so we don't have some of the issues these other people have," said Ford.
Ford said she's heard other businesses are considering relocating. The Dulcimer Shop has been a keepsake in Manitou for 43 years and Ford said that isn't going to change.
Businesses are still looking for volunteers. Check in at Venue 515 with sturdy boots and work gloves. From there, volunteers are assigned to businesses and residences in need.
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