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.
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