Some Seymour businesses have reopened their doors with cautious optimism as others continue to count the cost of this month’s devastating floods.
With a large swath of the town centre – including parts of Tallarook, Wallis, Emily and High streets – inundated early on October 14, many business owners have painstakingly dredged waterlogged shops and sifted through ruined stock for more than a week.
The Vinnies Seymour op shop was forced to dump all of its goods after water sat in the store for two days, riddling items with damp and mould.
Other businesses, while affected by the floods, had better luck, with Toyworld able to reopen its doors on Thursday after a concerted clean-up effort.
Kelly Hebard said the store saw a steady stream of volunteers who helped clean up the store on the morning of October 14.
“We came in first thing on the Friday and pretty much right from then we had volunteers coming in, bringing supplies and cleaning,” she said.
“All the toys were off the ground so that was fine, it was just a huge effort to clean the store. We didn’t ask for any help and we didn’t need to – everyone was just here.
“People you didn’t even know that well went to Bunnings off their own bat and got supplies to drop off or just came in and started working.”
Toyworld owner Carol Baumann said many business owners were humbled by the support they received.
“We were so well supported by the local community, many of whom had nothing to do with any of the businesses,” she said.
“A quick response made it a much more successful recovery.”
Ms Hebard said the quick response had an additional flow-on effect.
“Once we were done cleaning up here, we were able to go out and help others,” she said.
“That’s why we didn’t reopen until [Thursday], because there were other people who needed help too. People coming to help us here freed us up to help more people.”
Ms Baumann admitted she had mixed emotions at reopening the store while other businesses continued to clean, but expressed gratitude for the help she and others received.
“It’s daunting enough when families arrive back to their home or businesses – just to have a group of people who can get in there and make it happen quickly helps so much,” she said.
“We’ve had teenagers, down to 10-year-olds who were prepared to come in and work.
“We can’t reiterate enough how fortunate we were when some people didn’t have a bed to go home to.”