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Heavy rains damage downtown Evergreen businesses

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By Sandy Barnes

Pati Kroll, manager of Evergreen Clothing, was carrying clothing Tuesday from the store to E Town Outlet because of damage the building sustained from Monday evening’s heavy rains. Kroll said she was worried about the rain-soaked ceiling collapsing and damaging goods in the store.

The driving rain had poured through the back stone wall of the store and wiped out electrical connections to the computer, cash register and phone system, Kroll said.

A couple of doors down, Karen Schutt, family owner of the Tin Star restaurant, and her helper were finishing the task of cleaning between 3 and 4 inches of mud from the floor and equipment.

A sign outside the restaurant said: “Pay what you can, eat what you want. Flooded out today.”

CJ’s Café was open, but several ceiling tiles were either rain-soaked or missing because of the flooding.

The rainstorm in Evergreen began about 7 p.m. Monday and didn’t stop until the middle of the night, said CJ’s manager Catherine Fanaro.

Evergreen businesses on the north side of Main Street suffered the brunt of the damage from the pouring rain. Bear Creek was running high and muddy but was contained within its banks.

At the entrance to Evergreen National Bank, a large fan was drying out the wet floor.

“This is the worst we’ve ever had,” John Ellis, director of community relations for the bank, said of the flooding.

The bank floor has flooded previously because the sump pump can’t keep up with heavy rainfall, said Ellis.

However, Ellis said the safe was not affected and the money in the bank was undamaged.

“We’re not trying to launder money here,” he said jokingly.

The National Weather Service was forecasting more heavy rainfall in Jefferson County as of press time.