“I felt like someone punched me in the stomach,” the owner said.
ST. PETERS, Mo. – Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said help is on the way for struggling businesses and families affected by Tuesday’s flooding.
Kehoe said everything is in order to receive FEMA assistance. He expects the total damage to be well over the threshold to qualify.
He visited St. Peters and St. Louis on Wednesday. In St. Peters he was accompanied by Missouri representatives Ron Hicks and Tony Lovasco. Kehoe said his office has also been in contact with the Small Business Administration to help with additional relief for businesses that may not qualify for FEMA. Kehoe said there is no “magic shop” but applauds the hard work of volunteers and neighbors.
“Government is a great organization, but it can’t solve everyone’s problems,” Kehoe said. “Small business owners and communities know how to solve problems much better than bureaucrats. It warms my heart to see what happened in my business happened here.”
RELATED: Resources and ways to help those affected by flooding in the St. Louis area
He has been in the same shoes as many struggling business owners. In 1992, he bought a business in Jefferson City, a few months later the flood of 1993 destroyed his new business.
“I didn’t have flood insurance because guess what, the business I bought wasn’t in a flood zone,” Kehoe said. “I’m over this.”
This is the same exact situation that Lisa Hagemann finds herself in. Her business Oma’s Barn Home & Garden was flooded Tuesday morning.
“Everything just went away,” Hagemann said.
The water was over the door of the barn from which she has run her business for the past two decades.
“We finally got the doors open, but I had to go through the back door, crawl to get this (side door open),” she said.
The owner estimates the damage at $50,000.
“I felt like someone punched me in the stomach,” she said.
Her shop is known for selling plants, art and antiques – most of which are now dilapidated and cannot be replaced. It has received calls for support from customers across the country.
“I think that was my father’s,” she said. “He was 95 yesterday, my dad, he’s not around anymore, but it all happened on his birthday. Having a business is like trying to rob Peter to pay Paul. Just try. Do what you can to to make people happy.”
A GoFundMe has been created to raise support for the business that has added that touch of creativity to homes and businesses across the region.