Mud, mold, and destruction: California businesses face catastrophic damage

New York

Wharf House is at the end of a long wooden pier in Southern California jutting into the Pacific Ocean. It is now almost completely inaccessible.

An iconic institution for residents of the beachfront town of Capitola in Santa Cruz County, The Wharf House Restaurant is derelict, boarded up, damaged and with an uncertain future. There is a large hole near the center of the pier. This was caused by the relentless rains of the past few days and the waves crashing against the aging wood.

Owner Willie Case, 82, hasn’t been to his beloved restaurant since the night of January 4th. He has owned this restaurant for his 35 years.

“I don’t know how much damage was done. I couldn’t get to it,” he said.

Powerful winter storms have caused heavy rains, winds, floods and dangerous landslides. This is the first time in decades in California.anger It has had devastating consequences for many homeowners and business owners.

After years of drought, lingering storms across California have left tens of millions of residents under life-threatening floods, landslides and evacuation surveillance.

It rained on the dry west coast in early November and never stopped. Most of California gets 400% to 600% more total precipitation than average. Thousands of people have been forced from their homes and extreme weather is affecting their lives and businesses.

On a typical sunny California day, under a cloudless sky, in the sea breeze, strolling the 900-foot-long Capitol Pier is the ocean in front and the quaint beachfront villages behind. Equally great fun for diners.

Families regularly visit Wharf House for breakfast, lunch, dinner and live music on the upper deck.

It is now shrouded in darkness. Case said violent waves tore her 30 to 40 feet off the pier.

“Eight stilts were lost in the raging water.

We are hoping that the storm will subside and we will be able to use drones to take more detailed pictures and access the full extent of the damage. “The only other way to get there is by boat.

He waits and hopes for the best, so he worries about what repairs his business and pier will need.

Aerial photos show damage to the pier where the Wharf House restaurant is located.

“It’s not easy to fix. It’s already unstable and you need a crane to put the pile back up. It takes time and a lot of money,” he said. Case had difficulty getting liability insurance. “Waterborne businesses, especially ‘natural disasters’, are not covered,” he said.

About 5 million people are under flood watch on Wednesday, and an atmospheric river is bringing yet another rain to California.

Flood monitors, primarily in Northern and Central California, including Sacramento, North Bay and Redding, threaten to make an already difficult situation worse for residents grappling with flood-ravaged areas.

30-year-old Sam DeNicola hopes the days ahead are the best while he and his employees clean up the Bread Bike bakery.

Earlier this week, the mill room at Brian Little's bakery in San Luis Obispo, California, flooded.

Bakery co-owner Denicola opened its first store last summer in San Luis Obispo, California’s Central Coast region. He said the bakery makes and sells organic, artisanal breads made with grains and wheat grown in California. The bakery also has a bicycle delivery service.

The business is located in a low-lying area, one block from downtown. On Monday, Denicola walked through her knee-high water to reach the bakery.

“There is a stream in the town, and it flooded because it rained,” he said.

Once in the store, he said it went better than expected. “There was water damage, but luckily the floor is concrete and easy to clean and disinfect. We kept the equipment 6 inches off the ground and the water was 2 to 4 inches high,” he said. says DeNicola.

He loses a few days of work and worries about more rain. That’s because a few days a week he sells bread at his market, a local farmer’s market, which generates additional business.

“If it rains, we may still be able to keep the store open. But when it rains a lot, people don’t go to the farmers market. rice field.

Ali Jansen, 44, describes his horror when he woke up Monday morning and looked out the window to see the street in front of his building turned into a river.

On the morning of Monday, January 9th, the street outside Frame Works, a custom framing business and art gallery in San Luis Obispo, turned into a ricer.

Jansen owns Frame Works, a custom framing business and art gallery in San Luis Obispo. Her 2,500-square-foot store is on her first floor in the same building where she lives with her family.

Heavy rains last weekend flooded a nearby creek, pushing water over bridges and into the streets. Said. At first, she could not walk in the water and enter the store.

It took several hours to retreat. When it did, the damage was evident. “There was mud and debris. Most of the artwork was on the walls, which was fine. But there was damage to some custom artwork,” she said.

“People entrust us with irreplaceable work, whether it’s from Etsy or my great-grandmother’s sewing,” she said.

A few days later, Jansen is still cleaning up the store. “I worked from morning to night. If I stopped, I would die from the pain,” she said. She needs to keep the space dry as quickly as possible.

“When mold develops, it can be a big problem,” she said. “The drywall needs to be replaced. I also have asthma, so I can’t risk it.” She has estimated damages to about $10,000 so far.

“I am quite worried,” she said.

Paso Robles fire and emergency services chief Jonathan Stonetta said his team was busy accessing damaged infrastructure in and around the city.

Just north of San Luis Obispo, the city is famous for its wineries.

Heavy rains have caused the Salinas River, which bisects Paso Robles, to swell and flood, he said, damaging roads, homes and businesses. “The flood stage of the river is 29 feet for him. We have achieved 32 feet for him,” Stonetta said.

The city had to issue a mandatory evacuation earlier in the week. “We did his three hydrographic rescues and helicopter rescues,” he said.

At Tablas Creek Vineyards, about 15 minutes west of the town of Paso Robles, viticulturalist Jordan Lomborg videotaped Las Tablas Creek spilling over the banks and water gushing past the vineyard entrance. .

“I’m getting a little hairy,” Lomborg said.

“We had 6.5 inches of rain in 24 to 36 hours. The ground is saturated and there is nowhere to run,” he said. The flood washed away the highway leading to the vineyards. “It’s our main access to town, so it takes him 40 minutes instead of 20 minutes to get to town,” he said.

He’s not complaining, though. Because rain is good for the wine business.

“Forty percent of our vineyards are dry farmed, so we rely on rain, which is why winter rain is so important for the plants,” he said. The ground around the dormant vines is completely saturated with rain, but Lomborg says the soil holds up well and poses no danger of erosion.

“Prepare the soil for extreme rain,” he said.

But rains and floods have brought another important aspect of the wine business to a standstill: tasting. The vineyard had to cancel the tasting event because the main road was flooded.

“Our off-season business relies on tastings,” says Lonborg. “The profit margin is on direct-to-consumer sales. Some wineries only sell direct-to-consumer, not online. .”

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