Lexington bookstore looking to turn a new page after historic flooding
The flood left calvin with an estimated $300,000 worth of damage
The future is unclear for when the Old Mill Pond Dam will be rebuilt because of the price tag.
By: SaMeia Robinson
It's been two months since the historic flood hit South Carolina. The water that flooded the Rainy Day Pal Bookstore when the Old Mill dam broke is gone but the store's owner is still picking up the pieces.
"The first thing I do is roll up my sleeves and dive in head first. It's only one way to do it," said Calvin Lyles. "Just like when you go swimming and want to learn how to swim, you get thrown in the water and its either sink or swim. I can't afford to sink so I got to swim."
The bookstore has served the Old Mill Pond area for the last 28 years. Lyles changed locations inside the building after the cost of the property damages grew to be too expensive.
"It's been a difficult time and we still have more bad times to go before we can get back open again," said Lyles.
The lack of money to rebuild and restock is the biggest problem. Between the fixtures and inventory, he's estimates he rebuilding will cost him $300,000.
Money is also hindering re-construction on the dam.
"There's no concrete answer at this point about how to rebuild the dam and how long the process will go on," said Laban Chappel, co-owner of the Old Mill Pond dam. "We know the price tag is in the millions which is not feasible for us."
When the Twelve Mile Creek in Lexington flooded, it caused the water to flow and break the dam. DHEC issued emergency order covering 76 dams including the Old Mill Pond dam on December 1. The order requires dam owners to follow steps and deadlines in order to meet inspection standards.
Chappel says Lexington is planning to include costs of rebuilding the dam in its FEMA funding requests. He thinks it will take up to a year before any major construction starts. In the mean time he urges customers to shop locally during the holidays to help business owners rebuild.