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Winchester restaurant owners clean up after historic flooding with community members rallying behind them

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Posted at 10:00 PM, Mar 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-06 23:32:45-05

WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — Business owners are still reeling from the devastation caused by the historic flooding in Clark County.

The Waterfront Grille and Gathering building has stood tall since the 1700s and experienced minimal flooding since, according to owners.

New owners bought the restaurant in December with the hopes of reopening in April.

Plans have changed since the flooding.

Co-owner John Tucker said they tried emptying the building when the water first started rising, but time wasn’t on their side.

“We didn’t expect it to be this high from the reports and then suddenly it was going to be much higher. We had to move quickly and get as much out as we could, but we didn’t get much out,” he said.

Tucker and his business partner Deborah Garrison said the aftermath is worse than they expected.

“It is absolutely breathtaking. I cried a lot of tears yesterday, but today I’m feeling much better because we’ve had people working around the clock trying to get the mud and all the yuck out of the building,” Garrison said.

Community members have stepped up to help clean inside and sort through the damage.

The owners have been posting updates to their restaurant’s Facebook page. On Friday, they made a post asking for extra ‘man or female power’.

Several people answered the call that afternoon and more showed up to help on Saturday.

The kindness of the community is both helping to speed cleanup efforts along and keep spirits high.

“We’ve had just a slew of people bringing us food, bringing us water, and offering assistance,” Garrison said.

Owners said they are determined to rebuild and reopen.

It’s just going to take a little more time and a little more help.

“We plan on opening in the next couple of months and would really like the community to come support us and help us get past this major flood,” Garrison said.