"New To You," Was Damaged By The Flood But Heike Wilmoth Worries About Future Flooding In Glennallen

  State Has No Programs To Help Businesses  Heike Wilmoth with assistant Sarah Ranck at New To You in Glennallen, which was damaged by the M...


State Has No Programs To Help Businesses 

Heike Wilmoth with assistant Sarah Ranck at New To You in Glennallen, which was damaged by the Moose Creek Flood. (Photo, Country Journal) 

By June 5th, the floods of 2023 in Glennallen were over. The dry, sandy soil of the Copper Valley – left over from its time at the bottom of a huge Ice Age lake – absorbed the water quickly. In only days, the ground was dry and silty; every trace of the raging Moose Creek river apparently gone. Except for the damage. 

Inventory Wasn't Damaged
At Heike's "New To You" secondhand store, the impact of the floodwaters had been severe. You could barely see it, but the floor had been ruined and has to be replaced. Fortunately, the inventory wasn't damaged. 

Floor Damage Is Invisible
"Just the floor got wet," Heike Wilmoth told the Country Journal
But Heike felt pretty much on her own. "We are replacing the floor. I was lucky that somebody from Kenny Lake is coming in, and doing a little bit at a time repairing it. I got gravel delivered. 

No State Help For Businesses
The state had promised to help local people, she said, but not her – a small business. "The state emergency help is just for residences, but not for commercial businesses. There's no funding.

"I'm trying to get a loan through the small business development center. It's a nonprofit organization. They help you get a loan through the bank." 

What About Next Year
For Heike, and for many people, this did not look good. It wasn't just this year and last year. What about future years?
She was worried. It looked like Moose Creek – after flooding in 2022 and then twice in 2023, this year – is maybe going to flood again.

 "If I get flooded next year I won't be able to pay back my loan I take out this year." 

What Can Be Done
"There has to be something in place we can do next year. Digging a canal for drainage... something. I don't know. We need something to hold us over. To figure out what to do next." She is hoping that DOT can come up to some solution for future flooding --"To figure out what to do next and equipment in place they can mitigate the flood. It's way cheaper than rebuilding all these buildings. I think it's way cheaper to have some pumps in place. I thought the culverts would fix it. But it didn't. They have to back to the drawing board."

The Doors Are Still Open 
Meanwhile, the doors are still open at New To You, which always has a row of cars out front. It's just a secondhand store, all right, but it's also one of the most important and well-used stores in the Copper Valley. Here, 200 miles from the nearest large city, New To You offers vital goods that you can't get anywhere else in the region:

T-shirts, jackets, toys, jeans, formal wear, children's clothes, baby snowsuits, pajamas, boots, hats, scarves, hunting clothes, books on tape, dress shoes, crafts, birthday cards, Christmas decorations, lamps, mirrors, bike helmets, vases, pots, pans, kitchenware, plates, cups... 

Tableware at New To You (Photo, Country Journal) 


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