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'The store is my life' | After helping community hit by flooding, Portage Des Sioux store now needs help to reopen

Portage Post is hoping to open their doors once again to continue being there for the community.

PORTAGE DES SIOUX, Mo. — Monday was the deadline for FEMA accepting disaster applications for flood victims.

That deadline is just a reminder of the impact the record-breaking waters had on the St. Louis area. 

Just like many others, a pair of store owners in Portage Des Sioux are still trying to stay afloat months later. 

Shannon Voyles is one of the owners of Portage Post, the town's general store and small diner.

"We came into this, we dove in headfirst knowing we were going to be running into some roadblocks along the way," Voyles said.

But they weren't expecting this type of roadblock covered in floodwaters.

In May, they were excited to celebrate one year of opening their doors, but they got an uninvited guest one month later.

"We had 18 inches in the store and our apartment is the same level as the store itself. All of the dry and insulation was ruined. We lost two freezers and three of our refrigerators unit. We made some makeshift shelving used on the rolled tables and this is the last little bit of stuff," Voyles adds. 

Even though they were drowning under their own cleanup efforts this summer, they wanted to step up for the community, keeping their doors open on the honor system, so anyone can come in and get what they need.

RELATED: Portage Des Sioux community lifts one another up after flooding

"Being the only store in town, we were providing people with necessities they needed," Voyles tells us. 

You can still see 'write down tabs' scribbled across the wall a few months back.

Credit: Justina Coronel

But now, it's their own tab they need help with. "We were hoping to go to FEMA, FEMA doesn’t help businesses. Then we were redirected to SBA and going to a loan process. For a new business that already has one disaster, it’s a lot," Voyles adds. They're just trying to clean up the mess left behind. 

Portage Post is hoping to open their doors once again to continue being there for the community. Voyles says, "It was tough, but at the same time it was kind of another motivation factor, this has to get done we have to keep moving we have to keep doing this."

They are trying to come up with ways to get back on their feet financially, such as starting a food truck. 

But if you want to help out, click here for the GoFundMe link.

More flooding coverage:

RELATED: Monday is the deadline for FEMA flood aid

RELATED: Granite City cleanup continues with volunteers and fears of future rain

RELATED: 'Where do you go to start over?' | Homeowner losing hope after Granite City flash flooding

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