Thousands of shoes damaged in flood

Published: Aug. 23, 2018 at 7:29 AM CDT
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Thousands of shoes at The Shoe Box shoe store in Black Earth were damaged in historic flooding on Monday night.

The Shoe Box sits a few hundred yards away from the Black Earth Creek on Highway 14. The creek rose to historic flooding levels after heavy rains swept across Dane County.

The store was flooded by those rising creek levels. Steve Schmidtt, the owner of The Shoe Box said when he went inside the store on Tuesday morning there was nine inches of rain inside.

"As soon as we opened up the loading gate here all of the water flushed out. thank heavens," Schmidtt said.

The water damaged thousands of shoes and shoe boxes. The store was closed on Tuesday. The sign outside read "closed 'till dry inside."

"It's unbelievable. It's crazy. Been here 51 years and we've never missed a day here as far as opening because of something like this. It's okay. I guess 51 years and miss one day. I feel bad for the customers but the sun is going to shine we'll be fine tomorrow," Schmidtt said.

In the basement of The Bargain Box, the store across the street that Schmidtt also owns, water in the basement was waist high.

On Tuesday employees and others in the community helped lay the shoes outside so they could dry out. Schmidtt said he was overwhelmed by the support from the people in the Black Earth community.

He said they'll be back in business in no time. He said he plans to donate shoes that are damaged but still wearable. Some of them will be sold at a discount.