Greenbrier County restaurant managers reflect on Thousand Year Flood

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) — On the night of June 23, 2016, Bryan Standard, a manager and cook at Cook’s Country Kitchen, as well as several of his coworkers, hid in the upstairs of the restaurant while the flood waters rose.

“We were cooking, all the sudden water rushed in from the back, the front,” Standard said. “Next thing I know, there’s water up to our thighs.”

Standard and manager, Dana Payne, agree the water was at least seven feet high outside the restaurant, making leaving impossible for the staff until the water receded.

“That night, it was so late and dark, I didn’t pay attention. We bolted the doors in the front, they were cracked,” Payne said. “We put a vehicle, one of my friends stayed out all night in his vehicle. The next morning, it was very hard coming in.”

“I had to compare it to a bomb went off in here almost,” Standard said. “I saw stuff from outside in here and I still don’t know how they got anywhere in here. Like I said, we were stuck in here so I don’t know how that got in here.”

Payne said the next day they took all of the food in the freezer and brought it to downtown White Sulphur Springs to help feed people.

Five years later, pressed wood was replaced, the establishment has a new salad bar, and business is good again.

“I’m kind of surprised that we are where we are,” Standard said. “The way the business is around here sometimes, I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to pick back up, but we actually did really good surprisingly. I’m really happy compared to what we were. It’s a whole 360 of a change.”

“I could not run this restaurant without my staff,” Payne said. “They’re awesome. We took care of it ourselves, we cleaned ourselves. But once again, my staff is what makes my restaurant.”

Now instead of hiding upstairs, staff can roam around freely in their once again busy restaurant.

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