More Wyalusing Businesses Bounce Back after Flooding
By David Keeler
Two more Wyalusing businesses that were shut down by September’s severe flooding recently reopened their doors to customers.
Penny Hamilton said she reopened her Wyalusing Florist and Gifts at the Wyalusing Creek Plaza on Monday, and Mary Knolles, manager of PenMart, said that facility reopened last Friday.
Both businesses were heavily damaged in the flooding. “We had eight feet of water in here,” Hamilton said. “We lost about everything.” A small table outside the front door contains the few items that were salvaged, which are for sale at a reduced price.
Inside there’s newly-painted sheetrock walls and new tile flooring. “Our cooler made it through unharmed somehow,” Hamilton said.
She said family, friends and neighbors helped her get her business up and running again. She set up shop temporarily at the Wyalusing Community Corps building on Main Street and ran her flower business with a cell phone. “We are really thankful for the use of that space,” Hamilton said. “There were so many people who helped us that I can’t name them all.”
But Hamilton did single out one person who made an especially touching gesture. “Ken Potter came in and bought us a bouquet of flowers,” she said. “He said ‘make yourself a bouquet and enjoy it.’”
Hamilton said she is continuing to rebuild her inventory and expects to have the store completely replenished over the next few weeks.
It was the same story at PenMart where virtually everything was lost. Knolles pointed to a spot above the front door where the water had reached. “They used water tankers from gas companies to haul the water out of here,” Knolles said. “ I think someone said they hauled away over a million gallons.”
Customers will notice that PenMart nows sells Gulf gasoline rather than Shell. “They had planned to make that change prior to the flooding,” Knolles said. Virtually everything inside PenMart and its Dunkin Donuts outlet was destroyed. “All of our kitchen equipment was lost. Our ovens were destroyed,” Knolles said. Some of the store’s coolers were salvaged.
With the gas pumps shut down at PenMart, Wyalusing area residents had only one other convenient place to purchase gasoline and minimart items, Wyalusing’s Dandy Mini Mart. This resulted in long lines and, at times, frustrated drivers. “I’m so glad this place is open again,” a smiling PenMart customer said Tuesday.
There are still empty shelves inside PenMart, but Knolles said more inventory is expected later this week and the store should be fully restocked soon. The popular Dunkin Donuts facility is fully operational, and all pumps, gas and diesel, are functioning.
Knolles said plans to add a drive-up window to the Dunkin Donuts store are still in the works. “That will likely happen in the spring,” she said.
PenMart President Eric May extends thanks to those who helped with flood recovery efforts in a full-page advertisement appearing in this week’s Rocket-Courier.