UPDATE: Owners of flooded businesses in Kingston humbled by support
Thousands of dollars have been raised for a business affected by water damage after a flood on August 9th. The owner of Brian’s Record Option says more than $10,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe page since water could be seen flooding his business. Now the trick is emptying out his stock that he’s been collecting in the store for more than 30 years.
“It’s basically starting all over again, It’s very surreal,” says Brian Lispin, the owner of the shop since he was 29 years old.
Residents have been checking in on him since the incident, even dropping off cash donations to help him through the tough time. He says they have been donating in a variety of interesting ways.
“I think there’s probably over a $1,000 where people are coming over to me and stuffing my pockets full of cheques and cash, which is insane.”
Several businesses were affected after water gushed into their Princess Street storefronts that day.
For some, it’s back to business as usual, but both Brian’s Record Option and the Pita Grill and Poutine could be closed for an extended period of time.
Lipsin thought he would be able to reopen his store after cleaning up. But following a visit from his insurance company, Lipsin learned that was not the case.
“I have to be closed three to five months,” Lipsin said. “All the good stuff — which is the majority of it — has to be packed up and put in storage because they have to access the building, which means they have to take out everything.”
The record store is not the only business seeing long-term effects. Dennis Zekios, owner of Pita Grill and Poutine, told CKWS that he also has thousands of dollars in damages. His basement was flooded, he said, resulting in at least $20,000 of damage to the restaurant’s electrical system. Zekios estimated that his business could be closed for at least a month.
Water gushed into the basement of Lipsin’s store in the early morning of August 9th, and began flowing into the ground floors of several other storefronts on the street. Workers from Len Corcoran Excavating, the company responsible for Kingston’s “Big Dig” construction project, shut off the water before any more damage could be done.
Utilities Kingston responded shortly after the incident, pumping out a flooded manhole so that it could shut off power to the area. Though the flooding was initially thought to be caused by a water main break, upon further investigation this was found not to be the case.
Utilities Kingston CEO Jim Keech told CKWS the flooding was due to equipment installed by a contractor.
In a release, Utilities Kingston said: “The issue occurred with privately owned equipment at the cap of a new six-inch water service installed by the contractor at the request of the building owner.”
John Hoogwerf with Len Corcoran Excavating also released a statement saying the company is looking into the matter.
“LCE is currently investigating the cause of the water service failure,” Hoogwerf says. “We have been working with ServiceMaster to help expedite the clean-up operations and will continue to aid with anything in our power to help out the affected businesses and residents.”
Lipsin has pitched thousands of records and CDs into garbage bags with several more to go through. He said it will be a long process but having support from the community certainly helps it sting less.
“I don’t feel as bad because there’s all that support and people are good, especially this community we have in Kingston.”
A number of benefits are also on tap to help raise funds for those affected. One will be held at The Mansion on Wednesday and another at the Ale House on Saturday. Lipsin says there could be two members of the Glorious Sons also playing at that show.
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