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Little Bohemia recovering from Saturday's storm

Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 19:26:49-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It's been two days now since Saturday night's storm filled the metro area with water, but the cleanup and repairs are still in full swing.

Although Little Bohemia is more elevated than downtown Omaha and the Old Market, the heavy rains and the flash floods were too much for many stores in the neighborhood to withstand.

“We were closed Sunday, that’s usually a good shopping day for Little Bohemia,” owner of Dusk Goods and Gifts Abby Massey said. “We’re hoping to get open Wednesday.”

Dusk Goods and Gifts was one of several shops in the area that couldn’t open its doors to the public on Sunday.

That's something business owners in Little Bohemia never saw coming

“My hope was that the shop was fine because we are on high ground, but I got a call from Abby at about 9:30 Sunday morning that the shop was not in good shape,” owner of Green House Christina Mainelly said. “So, I scurried over here.”

“Yeah, there’s a lot to do,” Massey said.

It was the worst storm the two had seen in their two years in Little Bohemia.

The streets transformed into rivers Saturday night and seeped through the floors at the front of the neighboring shops. It damaged products, walls, and the floors.

“All of this is mud, so I’m waiting for that to dry so I can clean that up,” Massey said while pointing at the floor in the corner of her shop.

Floors were covered in soaked carpet Sunday morning.

The water also made its way to the basement the two shops share - taking out part of the ceiling, ruining the basement carpet, and a large amount of inventory as well.

“Yeah, water just gets in everywhere it wants,” Massey said. “And it just leaves that smell behind too.”

Massey estimates that the storm caused about $3,000 in damage to the shop and its products. That estimate is only what she has been able to assess at the store so far.

This damage comes after the incredibly difficult year that small businesses have already faced due to the pandemic.

“It’s another setback. I obviously had other things that I planned to do this week, other projects to work on,” Mainelly said. “I didn’t expect to lose 2-3 days, cleaning up and taking care of the damage but here we are. You got to do what you got to do.”

During these challenging times, both store owners say they’re beyond grateful for the support of friends and each other.

“We had a bunch of friends show up and lend a hand which was really nice,” Mainelly said. “I don’t think we could’ve gotten through yesterday without them.”

“Definitely a blessing to have small business friends next door,” Massey said. “We definitely rely on each other.”

They are also grateful for the people in the community who have reached out over text and on social media platforms. They both said seeing that support for small businesses is helping them remain positive as they get back on their feet.