Bozeman News

Mar 8, 2014 11:36 PM by Keele Smith - MTN NEWS

Manhattan Flooding Victims Assessing Damage

Manhattan was one of the hardest hit by the recent flooding.

Gallatin County is now conducting damage assessments, the hope is to help business owners reclaim some of their losses.

"Looks like we're not going to lose a part," Auto Inn Garage owner, Bruce Hanson, said.

While Hanson sustained only minor losses from the flood, he still has plenty to clean up in his shop.

"I mean this would be overwhelming to try to do all by myself," Hanson said. "And so there's been a lot of support from everybody here in town. I think everybody feels a little devastated from it all."

Businesses with basements are suffering significant damage, like at the L&F Market where water was literally to the top of the basement stairs.

"Probably eight to ten feet deep of water underneath our store," one L&F owner, Becky Petrick, said.

Petrick expects damages to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"We're going to end up losing 10 days of business," Petrick said. "Going to have to re-carpet the entire store."

The County hopes by conducting the damage assessment, flood victims will qualify for disaster assistance programs and reclaim some of their losses.

"It's going to be tough on these people," Blackhawk Maintenance Technician, Brad Juntunen, said. "It's going to be kind of extensive, going through everything. Finding all the issues, all the damage."

"All of the businesses are hurting pretty bad," Manhattan Public Works Assistant Supervisor, Ben Summers, said. "So we've been pumping out basements, getting rid of debris, doing whatever we can to help everyone."

Which business owners are noticing.

"It's been incredible," Petrick said. "The town has come together, they've come to help us and they're already planning to get us more help. It's been just overwhelming, it really has. "We're just taking it one step at a time. We'll do everything we can."

She said, "We have things in place to start getting it cleaned up. We've talked to all the people we need to and hopefully everything happens in the time that we need it to."

Many business owners say they do not have flooding insurance.

A town meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 10th at 7 p.m. at the Manhattan Junior High School Gym.
The meeting is an opportunity for flood victims to let officials know how they affected and how to get additional financial assistance.

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