FORT PLAIN, N.Y. - A town devastated by flooding is celebrating Wednesday after its only shopping center is reopened.
NEWS10 ABC's Lindsay Nielsen was at Save-A-Lot in Fort Plain on Wednesday to see what the store looked like after the flood and to see how far the community has come.
The clean-up was an effort by employees at the store and volunteers who were overjoyed to unveil all their hard work and hope for a new future.
Thinking back to the devastating flood waters that ravaged their store is tough for employee Genesee Gomez and co-owner Jeff Hart.
It was only two short months ago that the Fort Plain Save-A-Lot was flooded and muddy.
"Shelves weren't even shelves anymore. It was covered. You couldn't even see the floor. It was just mud," Gomez says.
Jeff Hart, the co-owner told NEWS10 ABC, "It literally looked like someone took a grocery store and put it in a washing machine and turned it on."
If the damage was ever too much to bare, Hart had residents reminding him how badly they needed him and his store.
"How are we going to get food? You know we don't have a way to leave town and when you hear stuff like that it pulls on the heart strings" said Hart, of the comments he heard from residents that gave him the strength to continue rebuilding.
Gomez was back at work greeting customers on Wednesday. They were comforted to see her smiling face once again.
Shelves once mud covered, are now colorful and filled with plenty of food, it was a site that gives hope to residents like Amy Staples who suffered flood damage at her own home.
"I'm so glad they came back. It's like I just walked in and it's so bright and cheery and I just walked down the first isle and I went 'wow'" said Staples.
Irene Vogle was delighted as she strolled down each aisle with her husband, in no hurry, as she couldn't wait to see the new store.
Vogle said she was anxious to see what the new store was like. "I'm happy. I'm pleased," she said.
After weeks in limbo the emotional toll of the flood was weighing heavy on Fort Plain but on Wednesday, the Save-A-Lot comeback, Gomez says, shows how a community can bounce back after tragedy with a little help from their friends.
"It happened and it was a hard time but you get through it. It goes on and you come back stronger" said Gomez.
A formal grand re-opening is set for October.
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