Barely reopening from Memorial Day flooding damage, businesses bracing for more rainfall

AUSTIN, Texas— Many businesses in Central Austin have spent the past five months repairing damage from the Memorial Day floods.

Some have just reopened last week. Now, they are once again bracing for heavy rain.

Hudson Doerge is the assistant manager for Whole Earth Provisions, and he said they are ready for this weekend’s storm.

“We've got sandbags which prevent a lot of the water from coming, especially under the door. We also have a brace that goes along the door,” Doerge said. “It's like a two-to-three inch thick piece of plywood that covers this, so that the door doesn't bow in if there's a lot of pressure from water coming in.”

 Many businesses in the area of North Lamar Boulevard were closed after Shoal Creek overflowed during the flooding in May of this year. The water seeped through doorways and busted out windows.

Whole Earth just reopened October 12, after remodeling and making repairs.

“It was actually one of the back windows that broke all the way in and then it just filled in like a bathtub,” Doerge said.

The Goodwill reopened earlier this month. The Shoal Creek Saloon reopened just 5 days after the floods.

 Flash flooding is the last thing Doerge and other employees there want to hear. “Everyone’s a little nervous, but like I said, we are being extra cautious and we have a lot of things put in place to make it a little bit easier on us if the worst happens, everybody is watching it with both eyes for sure,” he said.

Longtime customers have been anxiously waiting for the store to reopen. Russ Bond has been shopping there since 2011.

“I love having the option again. I actually haven't been buying many clothes lately since they've been closed, it's one of the places I get majority of my clothes,” Bond said.

But for now, all store employees can do is just sit back, wait and hope their preparations work as Mother Nature takes the stage.

“In the event of even a flood as bad as the one on Memorial Day, the damages would be much less significant,” Doerge said.