Local businesses still recovering one month after historic flooding

Published: Sep. 27, 2018 at 8:28 PM CDT
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Two businesses on Madison's west side hit hard by the historic flooding one month ago are recovering after suffering some extensive damages.

The Camera Company and Schwoegler's Park Towne Lanes underwent renovations after flood waters damaged their buildings.

"When we saw the water coming up, we thought well maybe we might get some water in the store, but never expecting that much water," said Ward Lundgren, co-owner of The Camera Company.

Ward said that the business lost about $100,000.00 in merchandise alone. He said that all the merchandise lying on shelves and carts under two feet tall were lost to the water.

"The night of the storm, the water, we could see it coming up higher and higher and higher, and then it reached the parking lot," Ward said. "The water came off the retention pond into the parking lot."

The retention pond behind The Camera Company overflowed, causing about two feet of water to enter the shop. Despite the flood damage done, Ward said insurance won't cover it.

"We're not in a flood plain, and I guess you can't purchase flood insurance unless you're in a flood plain, so we don't have any insurance," he said.

Schwoegler's Park Towne Lanes down the street faced the same problem.

"Unless FEMA gets involved, there won't be any choice but to go through traditional conventional business loans," said Schwoegler's field supervisor Robert Bloxham. "That money just doesn't exist."

Bloxham said Schwoegler's is looking at about $1,000,000.00 in damages after their entire bowling alley was under water.

"I guess the eeriest part of it was all the bowling pins from back in the machines were actually floating up in our bowler's area, that was heartbreaking to see that," Bloxham said.

Bloxham said that the materials for the new lanes will be installed on Oct. 15, with plans to reopen the lanes on Nov. 15. He said that having loyal customers has made the process of rebuilding that much easier.

"I wanted to support their recovery," said Karyn Helin, a regular at Schwoegler's. "I mean I suppose I could've found someplace else to go, but I like this place, it's kind of like my Cheers."