Nearly two months after storm damage forced McGregors Furniture to close, the store celebrated its reopening Friday morning with a newly refurbished store to welcome back its loyal customers.
Store manager Jeannie Koch said all the employees are "breathing a great sigh of relief" now that the store is back in business.
"It was such extensive damage," she said. "It's inconceivable how much work had to be done to get the store back up and running."
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Jim Ashton, left, and his son, Nicholas, try out a living room set Friday morning at McGregors Furniture in downtown Fort Dodge during the stores reopening. Damage from a leaking water pipe forced the store to close for nearly two months.
McGregors had been closed since early July after severe storms caused several pipes, which carried water from the roof to the city storm drains, to malfunction, causing water to leak into the store.
"Water flooded our second floor, down to the main level and down to our lower level," Koch said. "We lost everything."
Store computers were ruined, and all the carpeting needed to be replaced.
"We needed to have extensive drying done," she said. "All the merchandise had to be removed as well. Replacing the carpet alone was a process because it covered our entire store."
The store was initially expected to be closed for only a few weeks, but the extent of the damage caused it to be closed longer.
"With that extensive damage, you never know what'll happen," Koch said.
After being forced to close, McGregors began a transformation. They began by removing all the material that was damaged.
"We enhanced the building with new carpet, new lighting, and new merchandise that we've never had before," she said. "We took some partitions out so it's a more open atmosphere, and we added a fireplace gallery and display."
Koch added she hopes customers will enjoy the new atmosphere of the store.
"When customers come in, it'll look great," Koch said. "We're all very happy and we're excited to get the reactions from them."
She added that McGregors' customers have been supportive of the store during the time they were forced to close.
"Our customers have had patience," she said. "Everyone has been very understanding and we totally appreciate that. They're what we're here for."
In addition to being appreciative of the customers and their patience, Koch said they are also thankful for the workers who were able to get the store repaired.
"We've been their customers for years, and we appreciate their prompt response," she said. "We're just really happy to be open."
Contact Peter Kaspari at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org