November nor’easter has lasting effects

Published 7:57 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2009

While most of Suffolk was spared severe damages from the nor’easter that struck on Nov. 11, a few local businesses have had a harder time getting back on their feet.

The Wendy’s restaurant on North Main Street, Sapporo’s on North Main Street, and Bennett’s Creek Restaurant and Marina on the Nansemond River all had feet of water in their restaurants. Supreme Gas Station on North Main Street also sustained water damaged.

“The damage from the storm was over $100,000 for us — not including the business lost,” said David Chen, owner of Sapporo’s Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar. “We had some flood insurance to help cover the costs, but it only covered repairs — not food and business lost.”

Sapporo’s is located near the Nansemond River. With the river running in the restaurant’s backyard, Cheng said he returned to the restaurant after the storm to find it deluged with two feet of water and mud.

“We had to take the whole interior out and took insulation out, dried it, and then put it all back,” Cheng said.

The repairs took five week for Cheng to complete before they were able to reopen. Since then, however, “business isn’t doing too good, but we’re trying to hang in there.”

Bennett’s Creek Restaurant and Marina still has a sign reading “Closed Due to Flooding” on their front windows. A large trash container sits outside the restaurant and a soda refrigerator and chairs and tables are on the deck.

Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, located across the street from Sapporo’s, had 23 inches of water in the restaurant after the flooding. Thanks to a remodeling in October when rock and tile were installed, it did not sustain extreme structural damage. The loss of food and appliances caused the most monetary damage.

“We lost thousands of dollars worth of food when we lost power, and some small motor and refrigeration damage since we couldn’t raise the equipment to get it out of the way of the water,” said Clark Elverum, director of area operations for Wendy’s. “All of our new booths and mats we were able to elevate in time though.”

Wendy’s was open the Thursday after the storm.

“We would have been hit a lot harder if it wasn’t for our recent remodeling,” Elverum said.

Supreme Gas Station on Main Street also lost thousands of dollars of food.

“The only repairs we had to make were parts in the gas pumps, said Dede Stiles, assistant manager at Supreme. “We had to throw away everything under three to four feet though.”

Business for the station since the storm has been great, she said.