Update at 11:05 a.m. — Most businesses along the north side of Washington Blvd in Westover are still closed following Monday’s flooding. Ayers hardware is open in a limited capacity.
UPDATE: Most businesses along the north side of Washington Blvd in Westover are still closed following Monday's flooding. Ayers hardware is open in a limited capacity. https://t.co/sutjwvqmNV pic.twitter.com/PhXIgFTBRs
— Arlington Now (@ARLnowDOTcom) July 9, 2019
Earlier: This morning’s storms and flooding has left stores along the north side of Washington Blvd in Westover Village without power — and some facing extensive damages.
Businesses along the 5800 block of Washington Blvd, from Westover Market (5863 Washington Blvd) to The Italian Store (5837 Washington Blvd), were closed as of 2 p.m. All of the properties were without power and several were flooded.
Westover Market and the Ayers Variety & Hardware at the west end of the block were at two of the lowest points of the slope. At Westover Market and Beer Garden, workers moved tables and soaked beer crates out of the store and into the rain, occasionally with the assistance of people passing by.
“I came down to get a keg and stuff was just floating away,” said Joseph Turner, a manager at Westover Market. “We’re trying to clean and open as soon as possible, but there needs to be fire department and health inspections.”
Turner watched as people carried out soaked boxes from the store and set them into stacks of rubbish.
“I’m just speechless,” Turner said.
Video posted earlier today shows the market flooded and fast-moving water rushing through the outdoor beer garden, damaging the fence and sweeping away picnic tables.
— Paulo Mendes (@Paulojmendes1) July 8, 2019
At Ayers Variety & Hardware, water in the storefront was ankle deep, but the real damage took place below — the basement, where the business stores merchandise, was completely flooded. Kristy Peterkin, a manager at the store and daughter of owner Ronald Kaplan, said that staff had been running generators to pump water out of the basement — but then the power cut out.
“We’ve seen nothing like this since 1977,” Peterkin said. “This is catastrophic.”
Peterkin said employees haven’t been able to access the basement to examine the impact but estimated that there would be at least $100,000 in damages.
The Forest Inn, Toby’s Ice Cream, and Rite Aid were all closed and empty. The post office west and slightly uphill from Westover Market was still accepting drop-offs as of 2 p.m., but said they would soon be closing.
At Pete’s Barber Shop, the staff cleared away waterlogged mats but were otherwise sitting around, waiting for power to come back.
The Italian Store on the end has no basement and fared a little better than its neighbors. Owner Rob Tramonte said they were working with contractors to get a generator running, to allow the business to open again soon or at least keep the food from spoiling. Tramonte noted that his Lyon Village location remains open, despite flooding at the nearby intersection of Lee Highway and N. Kirkwood Road.
Jeremy Slayton, a communications specialist for Dominion Energy, said power was estimated to be back on by tonight, though it’s unclear whether power will be able to be restored before the floodwaters could be pumped out. Store owners said they were told it could be a week before utilities are back online.
Ashley Hopko contributed to this story
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