Cleaning up after a flood, Lonnie Tourek has a balanced outlook.
“Nobody likes a flood,” said the man who owns Tourek Quilting in Arlington. “But we still feel we’re blessed compared to a lot of people.”
He cites another man who had 3 feet of water in his business.
“I feel lucky. We had 12 inches,” Tourek said Wednesday.
Tourek’s business was one of seven affected by flooding earlier this month when Bell Creek overflowed its banks on the east side of Arlington and the Elkhorn River overflowed on the west.
On Wednesday, the Arlington man talked about the flooding and cleanup process.
Water from the creek flowed in on March 13.
Tourke and his wife, Pat, had left Arlington that day at about 4 p.m. to go to Omaha.
Bell Creek was just starting to come out of its banks.
When they returned at about 7 p.m., U.S. Highway 30, going west, had water over it and was closed.
Tourke can’t believe how fast the waters of Bell Creek rose.
On Friday morning, the Toureks came into their building to start the cleanup process.
“We had tremendous support from town, people coming down, helping us carry things out of here,” he said.
He cites Charlie and Lori Reed from Reed Electric and Greg and Gayle Russell, who came with numerous other area residents to help with the cleanup.
People carried out items so mud could be cleaned off the floors.
And there was a lot of mud.
“It’s just one of those things,” Tourek said.
The office had to be cleaned out. A kitchen in the business was affected, too.
“Had to tear out my cabinets in the kitchen, because they were all wet at the bottom and starting to expand,” he said.
Tourek said he lost a lot of fabrics and a few machines, but maintains a positive attitude.
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“We got the floor in here all cleaned up now so all we’ve got to do is reorganize and get things into shape,” he said. “It looks a lot better than when we first walked in.”
Tourek said he hopes to open on Monday.
Not far away from Tourek, Dylan Burris worked at Countryside Repair, which his dad, Chuck, owns.
Burris said flood waters started rising at about 5 or 6 p.m.
“That’s when it started going over the road,” he said.
Flood waters had never gotten up to the shop before.
“But we figured — in case it does — we’d better get everything off the floor,” Burris said.
So tool boxes, diagnostic equipment, battery chargers and an office desk were among things picked up off the floor.
Items were placed on pallets and wooden blocks.
“That night, it flooded about 6 to 8 inches in here,” he said, standing in the garage. “The next morning, we came back down and loaded everything onto a trailer just in case the flooding got any worse and we needed to evacuate right away.”
The water went down in the Bell Creek.
“We were safe from the flooding after that,” Burris said. “It really got bad on the other side of town.”
Had the water been much deeper, Burris believes they would have had a big loss.
“Fortunately, it didn’t get much deeper,” he said. “It was a big mess that took a while to clean up. The parking lot was a complete disaster with cornstalks.”
Flood waters carried cornstalks from farm fields into various locations — including the town’s ball field – where the yellow leaves and stalks are about 18 inches deep.
Burris notes that the situation didn’t end up being too bad for the shop, but he did have an injury.
“We came back down when it was flooding that night so I could pick my transmission up off the ground that was sitting under my car in the back room of the shop and I ended up poking a hole in the middle of my hand,” he said.
The input shaft that poked into his hand left a wound that required five stitches.
“It was a like a perfectly round hole right in my hand,” he said. “It’s going to look like I was crucified or something.”