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Staunton residents prepare for flooding despite trauma

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - The Valley has been under flood warnings as Hurricane Ida brings storms.

The people of Staunton know flooding all too well, and they’ve spent the week preparing. The streets are lined with sandbags, and a few floodgates are in place.

Executive staff at Serendipity Java Bar and Eatery say they weren’t open when last year’s floods happened, but they’ve seen how aware their neighbors are when it comes to bad weather.

Chris Inks says when rain is forecasted, many people in the Staunton area become weary.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking and pretty damaging for a lot of people around here, especially as business owners,” Inks said. “It’s hard enough as a homeowner or even a renter to have to go through that, but when when you could potentially lose your home and your business and your business is what gives you your home, like, there’s a whole lot wrapped up in that you lose all at once.”

Inks and Serendipity co-owner Ixchel Freed says, in preparation for Hurricane Ida, they were focused on making sure their employees were okay and it was safe to drive. They say the building they’re in doesn’t typically flood, but they stayed very aware.

“At the end of the day, we can replace equipment, we can’t replace people,” said Inks.

Although dealing with the anxiety can be hard, Inks says it means they’re prepared for any kind of weather.

“You know when it’s going to rain. You’ll see the sandbags. They’re quick to protect their stuff,” Inks said.

Freed says she’s proud of the way the community has recuperated.

“You would not necessarily know the devastation that has happened because this town comes together. We hear the stories, but they come in, they share how proud they are of this community, and we’ve been so embraced,” Freed said.

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