Tenants and business owners at Park Plaza on Wednesday were starting to pick up the pieces of the mess that started about a day earlier when a water service line broke resulting in water rushing into the buildings first level and basement.
Repair crews from Paul Davis Restoration were hard at work Wednesday morning drying off areas at the Cork & Barrel that were affected by the flooding. Tables and chairs had been removed, some shifted over to a space owned by Artzy Haven's Kristin Stock.
Meanwhile, the building as of Wednesday afternoon remained without hot water or heat and it may take some time for those things to return. Building owner Beth French said that those services may not return until the end of the week.
“The boiler people came from Lincoln yesterday,” French said of the system that drives the building's heat source. “They have to order parts and they called this morning and said it would be Friday morning before they could get (back) here.”
A group was planning to look at the water heater Wednesday and parts could be in to repair it Thursday, which would be a lifesaver for businesses in the building like Terri’s Dog Grooming and Bella Hair Salon.
“That’s their whole livelihood, they need hot water,” said Ron French, Park Plaza's maintenance manager.
Some businesses have reopened, like Artzy Haven, which held a spot in the basement right next to Cork & Barrel. That spot holds parties for people looking for an artistic way to have a good time. But, with that area closed, Stock has had to improvise.
“We had some parties that were booked already, so we’re going ahead and doing them on location at the gal’s garage,” Stock said. “We actually moved to her house and doing our party in her garage.”
Stock said she is pleased with the way that the flooding is being handled and appreciates the fact that she got through the ordeal relatively unscathed. She has moved most of her stuff for an upcoming event being at the Ramada Hotel and River’s Edge Convention Center this weekend and is planning to place her store at another location she owns just down the street from Park Plaza.
You have free articles remaining.
“We’re getting through it fantastically,” Stock said. “We have an event going on at the Ramada, so this has been a challenge for us, because we had to move. We have half of our store out there at the Ramada for our event. But we’re doing great. We’re getting set up over there (at the building, 2512 13th St.), so we can do some parties because our space is gone.”
Those living on the building's top three floors said the situation has been trying, but they have been getting through it in the best possible manner. Howard Cole, who lives in one of the apartments above the business complex, said that there was very little panic seen on anyone’s faces in the aftermath of the line break.
“To drive by or watch, it didn’t really look like a whole bunch of chaos,” Cole said. “(There was) minimal chaos, except for, ‘Let’s get the water out of the building.’ The business owners didn’t freak out and nobody else was going crazy.”
Cole has had to make do and said that things are going well enough, considering the lack of hot water and heat, particularly on a cold day like Wednesday.
“I just warm stuff up on the stove,” Cole said. “We still have electricity and we still have water, but it’s cold.”
French likes to think of the tenants and business owners that make up Park Plaza as a family that she has had to lean on over the past few days. Things will slowly return to normal, but even in an extraordinary situation, the familial atmosphere remained as normal as possible, she said.
“The thing I say about my apartment building, and I’m really proud of this fact, is that we’re kind of like a little community,” French said. “We all pull together, we’re a nice unit and I think that it shows when things like this happen, because no one’s been upset, no one’s been angry and everybody’s offered to help.
"I think the people downstairs, Kristin and Nicole (Saalfeld, owner of Cork & Barrel), have been nothing but positive ... (They are) doing what they need to do to get things back on track. For a bad situation, we’ve made the best of it.”
Zach Roth is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.