Owners of Toy Kingdom Lismore, Carmel and Carey Horner, say they are “keeping positive and getting on with rebuilding” in the wake of the 1.5 metre flood that devastated homes and businesses in Lismore last week.
Here's the story in their own words:
On Thursday morning we became aware that the likelihood of a flood was high, so Carey and the staff started preparing. Given our location we have always had a good flood plan and it served us well.
With the exception of some newly delivered stock that was sitting on our loading dock we were able to save most of our stock however, we have lost the majority of our fittings and fixtures. All of our electronic equipment including POS, TV's and computers were moved to our storage area upstairs.
The water inundated the store in the early hours of Friday morning and reached a peak of approx. 1.5m above floor level. Fortunately none of our staff, including Carey and me, lives in Lismore, so our homes were undamaged.
We returned to the store as soon as we could which was lunchtime Saturday, with the help of some friends and dedicated staff we had the majority of the damaged fittings removed and cleaned out the worst of the mud.
The help from family and friends has been overwhelming, everybody has pitched in in so many different ways. Many of our friends and family live outside of Lismore up to 40 minutes away and they have been making the trek over to clean, repack shelves, deliver meals and offer moral support in any way they can.
The children in the picture are from my daughter's primary school, St Finbarr's, in Byron Bay. They travelled over to Lismore with their parents and got stuck into the cleaning and putting stock back on the remaining shelves.
We have been able to redirect our deliveries to our Ballina and Byron Bay stores, and suppliers have been incredibly supportive offering to assist with cleaning, arranging new stands and replacement stock. We are very positive about our future and are excited to rebuild the store in a new and fresh format.
We are fortunate to have our other two stores located about 30 and 45 minutes away, and it has been fantastic to see our Lismore customers shopping with us in these locations while we are closed in Lismore.
We intend to re-open in a temporary format on Tuesday and a local caterer is donating Easter cupcakes for everybody that visits the store to help spread some Easter cheer.
We will close again for a very short period after Easter so that the building can be repainted and our new fixtures installed. We are already planning our grand re-opening and will hold a big celebration to mark the occasion.