MONONGAHELA, Pa. (KDKA) — One week ago, a water main break damaged six small businesses in Monongahela.
They all are still without power, but the community is trying to help the owners get back on their feet.
As Dusty Bradshaw looks over what’s left in the basement of her shop, Dusty’s Discounts, she sees an empty, dark, and wet space.
“There’s nothing down here from what I had. Everything’s just gone,” Bradshaw said.
Last Thursday, water filled the basement to the first floor, with her inventory floating on top.
“Just stood there, just disbelief, just didn’t know what to do. There was nothing I can do,” Bradshaw said.
It came from 4th Street by Main, severely flooding six small businesses in downtown Monongahela.
“It was old, just an old water system that failed,” said Laura Magone, president of the Monongahela Area Historical Society.
Magone said it took some time for crews to locate the break because the street was paved last year. The incident left much of the community without water for about a day.
“Nobody realized how bad it was going to be at the time,” Magone said.
In the week since, all hands have been on deck to pick up the pieces and count the losses. For Bradshaw, that’s at least $20,000 worth of inventory.
While the water is back on, the electricity is not, and it won’t be until everything is dry.
“It’s how I pay my bills. I have a home and kids,” Bradshaw said.
In the meantime, the city is doing what it can to support the business owners, with hopes of raising $1,000 for each store.
“The water company will help these businesses to make repairs and so forth, but we know that the business owners have short-term bills to pay,” Magone said. “We just want to put a little bit of money in their pockets.”
A tiny step on the road to recovery.
“I was just getting ready to close my doors. I said I can’t do this anymore,” Bradshaw said. “Seeing everybody here today, I was like, I can’t close my store. … I want to keep my doors open and keep moving forward.”
It’s unclear how much longer it will take for everything to dry, but even once everything is dry and the electricity is back, these stores will need a lot of work inside before they can reopen.
Bubba Gandy’s Seafood Cajun Market will be closing its doors on April 8 just before they reach the 5-year mark on their business. Owner Rhonda Pierce said th
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