Plumbing store recovers

FORT PLAIN – Geesler’s Plumbing and Hardware on Canal Street was among the businesses flooded in the village last June.

Matt Grimm, son of the owner and manager, said the business was severely damaged.

“The basement had gotten filled up [with water] right to the floor boards,” Grimm said.

The business, located on 64 Canal St., has been in business since 1915, Grimm said.

When the water rolled down Canal Street in the early morning hours, it pressed against a basement door and came into the basement.

“At 8 feet, most of [the basement] was under water,” Grimm said.

Grimm said once the water began to recede, the cleanup began.

“The next day, I had about 10 guys, various friends and customers of mine, and I had this thing cleaned out, mud out and gone,” Grimm said.

Forty hours of work later, Grimm said the store was ready to open again.

However, much of the pipe the business sells and keeps in the basement was ruined by the water. He said he had to throw out 95 percent of his pipes.

“It was all PVC, and I can’t use it for [drinking] water,” Grimm said. “I can’t have that as a liability.”

Some pipes from the basement, such as drain pipes, were washed and later sold.

“I had a guy in the parking lot for eight hours hosing with a pressure washer all the pipe I had in the basement,” Grimm said.

Water heaters, electrical services and furnaces were also damaged by the flooding.

“It is hard to put a value on [the damage]. It was more than what I could borrow from the bank,” Grimm said. “It is slowly recovering.”

Grimm estimated his store suffered $50,000 in damage and lost inventory, along with the loss of a $35,000 truck.

A loan from NBT Bank for $50,000 helped the business, Grimm said.

“I’m still paying off the bank yet,” Grimm said. “It will still take a couple of years to make [it] back.”

Grimm said the family-owned business plans to stay open.