Flood of support for local business damaged in storm

Samantha Edwards sifts through damaged merchandise at Mary-Claris Hair Extensions, a store that specializes in real, synthetic, and medical wigs, as well as braiding, dread locks and hair extensions.

VERNON - This week’s flash rain storm led to major water damage at a Vernon business, but staff aren’t letting it dampen their spirits.

Samantha Edwards, the manager at Mary-Claris hair extensions on 30 Avenue, looks up at the gaping hole in the ceiling and the torn up flooring and sighs. It’s been a stressful, sleepless couple of nights.

“This is summertime, this should be our busiest time and now we’re going to be closed,” Edwards says. “We had bookings yesterday, today, we’re trying to reschedule people but I don’t even know what to tell them. It’s really sad but the people of Vernon have been amazing.”

The ceiling started dripping the afternoon of July 23 when a violent thunderstorm tore through the valley.

The employee on shift noticed the ceiling and the light fixtures leaking and notified Edwards, who told her to close for the day. Edwards was thinking of the girl’s safety; about the dangerous combination of water and electricity in the store.

Around 1 a.m. the shop’s alarm went off, signaling a disturbance in the building and possibly broken glass. An employee raced to the store and was met by police. Initially, they thought it might be a break-in. But when they looked inside, they saw the ceiling had collapsed, the shelving had come down and mannequins were strewn everywhere.

“This really took us by surprise,” Edwards says. “We thought it was just a little drip. We had no idea.”

What started out as a little drip caused thousands of dollars in damage, but luckily the company has insurance. It’s the lost business from customers while they’re closed that really hurts.

“It’s huge, especially for a small business,” Edwards says.

They’re rescheduling people in at the company’s Kelowna location when possible but don’t yet know when they’ll be able to welcome clients through their own doors again.

Loyal customers have been calling in and visiting in person to show their support.

“The community has been very supportive, I’m just blown away. It makes this all easier,” Edwards says.

Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on the reopening.

Staff found a gaping hole in the roof, knocked over shelves and damaged merchandise after a fierce storm this week.
Staff found a gaping hole in the roof, knocked over shelves and damaged merchandise after a fierce storm this week.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

HORGAN: Working together, to deliver housing for people
  OPINION Housing affordability is the biggest challenge facing people in B.C. every day. For years, the crisis was ignored while prices surged beyond incomes, and hurt people, businesses and communities. Our gove

Top News