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St. Charles businesses rebuilding from July's historic flash flooding

Sugarfire and Elm Point Animal Hospital weren't able to salvage much. Now, they're building from scratch to reopen.

ST CHARLES, Mo. — Heavy rain is in the forecast again and it's not waiting for businesses to get back on their feet.

July 26's historic flash flooding left an enormous mess in its wake. Businesses in the Elm Point neighborhood of St. Charles are basically rebuilding. 

Yes, the outside of their shops are fine, but the inside is a different story. When Cole Creek overran its banks it free flowed into Sugarfire and Elm Point Animal Hospital.

"The picnic tables were floating out on Elm," Sugarfire's Maintenance Supervisor Ralph Zurheide said. "When I got here, there was two feet of water in the parking lot, three feet on the window sills, inside we had 16 inches of water."

The water went down and the clean-up began. The power washing company next to the St. Charles Sugarfire location was power washing the parking lot. 

"It took two days," Zurheide said, "almost 8 inches of mud."

The parking lot mud was only the tip of the iceberg. Almost everything inside had to go. A contractor came out immediately and employees started cleaning up the equipment that was salvageable. When 5 On Your Side stopped by, crews were hard at work replacing walls and flooring.

"Hopefully we will be back up and running in a couple weeks," Zurheide said.

The team at Sugarfire isn't alone in their rebuilding efforts. A block away, Elm Point Animal Hospital is redoing its basement. 

"The water was where the drywall is, it went right to the ceiling," said Dr. Daniel Lang, the co-owner of Elm Point Animal Hospital. 

The basement boarding and grooming facility is stripped bare now, a shell of what it was before the water rushed in. Dr. Lang hasn't seen the basement like that since they put in the boarding facility downstairs.

Little equipment was salvageable, the structures and items that have to be rebuilt will likely be expenses not covered by insurance. 

"It's a nature of God and they don't cover it," shrugs Dr. Lang.

The team at Elm Point Animal Hospital is focused on rebuilding and reopening their boarding facility, but Dr. Lang is starting to think about how to prevent it from happening again, 

"I don't know if we talk to the city, do we put some kind of wall up there?"

While Sugarfire and Elm Point Animal Hospital rebuild, late summer storms will continue to pummel the area, threatening their efforts.

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