Antique Deli & Pastry Shoppe owner Darrah Perryman was busy making sandwiches for local firefighters when water began flooding her Kalama shop.
It began by bubbling up from the drains. Then it seeped through the doors and walls. Sixteen inches of water flooded her deli, likely ruining her cooking equipment, including a new refrigerator, Perryman said.
On Thursday, as she scrubbed brown grime from the floor outside her deli, she reflected on the destruction.
“I’m shocked,” she said, taking a break from the work. “I didn’t think it would be anything like this.”
Lee Bunn, owner of Lee’s Attic, worked nearby Perryman. His antique shop, located in the same building as Perryman’s store, also was flooded. The damage, he said, will cost him thousands of dollars.
He said water began flowing into his shop “like a river” at about 6 p.m. Tuesday. He hastily stacked antiques on high shelves, but he couldn’t save everything in time.
“I left because I was afraid I wouldn’t get out,” he said.
Certain items were ruined, such as a large, vintage China hutch worth $800.
“I’m kind of numb,” he said. “It’s literally going to be thousands of items (I’ve lost).”
Down the street, Kai Tave, an employee at Kalama Burger Bar, said the restaurant was left unscathed by the flooding. The parking lot pooled full of water, but none of it seeped inside, he said.
However, the burger joint has been affected by the closure of Interstate 5 near Woodland. By mid-afternoon Thursday, the restaurant had served only about 12 customers. On a typical day, Tave said he typically sees at least five times as many customers.
“We do a lot of traveling business — people who want to stop by and get a bite to eat, but we don’t have that,” he said.
Still, Tave said he understands it could be worse compared to the damage at other businesses.
Outside the restaurant, volunteers worked at cleaning the brown grime that coated sidewalks outside of closed storefronts. Neal Ward, 28, of Kalama, was among the volunteers Thursday.
Ward said he began the cleanup at 9 a.m., cleaning out catch basins and power washing shelves at Double D’s Feed Farm & Garden.
“Everybody’s distraught ... caught everybody off guard,” he said. “We’re a good community. We help out, and we’ll get (Kalama) back in order.”