TAZEWELL, VA (WVNS) — People living in some parts of Tazewell County experienced heavy rainfall and even flooding on Thursday, July 30, 2020. In North Tazewell County, water levels were knee high at one point.
Veer Patel is the co-owner of Bud’s Mart off Route 16. He said almost three feet of water poured into his store Thursday afternoon. He said the water accumulated so quickly, it was impossible to stay ahead of it.
“It took like 10-15 minutes, the water hit so fast and then it took another 15 minutes to get in and that was it,” said Patel.
Patel said he started cleaning up the mess early this morning.
“Since 4 a.m. Yeah, since 4 a.m. and it’s going to take all day long,” said Patel.
Pressure washers, shop vacs, squeegees, these are the only weapons Patel has in the fight to salvage his store. Patel said he felt that he was not well prepared for flooding this severe, but he said in the year since buying the store, the threat of flooding never crossed his mind.
“I never expected it, I mean I never in my life saw this much water, so it was crazy,” said Patel.
Patel said his store did not have any structural damage, but they did lose money from groceries impacted by the floodwaters. Their ice machine was also stolen, but not in the way you might expect. At one point, the flooding was so high, it carried the ice machine from Bud’s Market all the way down stream to the end of the creek, with the guardrails being the only thing stopping it from going into the street.
Patel said he will continue to clean up the damages. He said he will seek outside help when adding precautionary measures to his store.
“(He) is going to fix some things inside and out, and hopefully we are going to be okay,” said Patel
The gas pumps at Bud’s Mart are working and open for business. Patel plans to re-open his store by August 3, 2020.