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Kingsport business owners re-open, keep cleaning

By Preston Ayres, payres@wcyb.com
Published On: Jul 22 2013 12:41:32 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 21 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

Five days after torrential rain inundated downtown Kingsport, some businesses are starting to re-open and trying to get back to business as usual.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

Dark rain clouds over downtown Kingsport are an erie reminder of the storm that soaked this city less than a week ago.

Along East Market Street you can still find signs businesses trying to dry out, and others double checking everything to make sure it's ok.

"I know I'm still questioning the electric and wiring in my studio, I know I don't have a water heater that works," says Suzanne Barrett Justis who owns an art studio along East Market Street.

But along with the clean up, you will find open signs as these business owners get back to work and back to normal.

Suzanne Barrett Justis says she spent Sunday replacing the flowers outside her studio a task that was important to her for moving on after the flood.

"I just wanted some sense of normalcy," says Barrett Justis.

Every business is not back to normal.  

At style the sign on the front door says they are inside cleaning up, you're welcome to come in an shop if you want.  Workers tell me they hope to reopen in the next day or so.

More financial assistance rolled in Monday to help the businesses recover.

The United Way of Greater Kingsport announced a 5-thousand dollars to the downtown association.

"When this happened on Wednesday our board immediately said we want to help,” says Danelle Glasscock, from United Way of Greater Kingsport, “we want to be part of the change, and we encourage others to do the same."

They say this will likely not be their last donation to help with the flood relief and the United Way officials are already considering contributions to other organizations assisting the flood victims.

Business owners tell me one of the bright spots in the recovery has been the community support.

"Just having someone come in and roll up their sleeves and help has been a God send," says Barrett Justis.

The Sullivan County Emergency Management office is trying to contact everyone with flood damage.

They say it's important to make sure every damaged property is counted in the damage assessment.

Their number is 423-323-6912.