Fort Plain stores going over options

By HEATHER NELLIS

Recorder News Staff

FORT PLAIN -- Mayor Guy Barton said retail and grocery stores ravaged by Friday's flooding are determining whether they will re-open, but it will likely take several months if they do.

Save-A-Lot Manager Jackie Bidwell said Tuesday she's not sure when or where, but the grocery store will re-open.

"The community has done a lot for us, and we want to stay here and support them," she said.

Barton said Monday that he showed the grocery store's representatives a new property in the village.

"They may want to build a new store," he said. "That's 'may' -- we don't know for certain."

Owner John Hart said he lost between $700,000 and $800,000 in stock alone -- it's littered all over the store, along with water and mud.

But, Bidwell said the cleanup effort is making a lot of headway thanks to help from staff and volunteers. Anyone who wants to help with the continued cleanup can just stop by the store during the day, she said. Bidwell said the store has received tremendous support from the Amish who came out in droves to dig into the mess.

In fact, Amish residents have been all over the village since Friday's flood to help affected homeowners and businesses -- ranging from a tanning salon, banks and stores.

Dollar General, Nice and Easy and Daylight Donuts were all devastated, too, as were other local eateries and businesses.

"I hope they can all stay," Barton said. "We've made a lot of headway in the past seven years since the floods in 2006. And it's all gone down the tubes in the matter of minutes. But we're getting back -- we'll make it."