There was much work to be done Saturday at the 103 Square complex off 103rd Street and Wornall Road, the low-slung bull’s-eye in last week’s flash flooding of Indian Creek.
Flanked by Coach’s Bar & Grill on the east, where firefighters early Thursday rescued employees through a roof, and The UPS Store on the west, the row of shops and eateries had walls that leaned, floor tiles ripped loose by the currents, and equipment that needed moving out.
Still, on a beautiful day the place was quiet, mostly empty. Several storefronts were boarded up. Some had already been vacant.
Melvin Moore of Mel’s Hauling showed up to see who needed his services. He spent most of his afternoon gawking into closed businesses, saying, “Wow!”
The complex’s demolition contractor Rody Taylor of Taylor Construction Services, was there, too, just as he was eight years ago when floodwaters hit.
Back then, he said, the bottom 2 feet of walls had to be replaced. This time the water reached up to 6 feet high. Some units will need entire walls redone down to the studs.
“Our plan is to have 30 workers in here starting Monday and knocking it out in seven days,” Taylor said.
At The UPS Store, employees removed hard drives from computers that had been sitting in water. The hard drives, still intact, contained all of the store’s most important files, said store manager Ayusha Panta.
Two hundred mailboxes at the store were removed — their contents mostly intact — and temporarily placed at the UPS branch at 121st Street and State Line.
“By the middle of the week we should be up and running at a new location…less than 200 feet to the west of here,” Panta said. “That’s the important thing for our customers to know.”
Moore, the hauler, stared in awe into the muddy wreckage that once was the Gold Rush Exchange.
An employee there said only the surveillance cameras were salvageable.
The worst damage struck businesses near the two ends of the complex, such as the popular Coach’s.
But one small shop in the center, CBD American Shaman, appeared unscathed Saturday.
The flood didn’t even rattle artwork on the walls. Potted plants on shelves stayed put.
Co-owner Rebecca Perdieu has a theory for that: Indian Creek’s most powerful currents struck the complex’s exposed corners dead on, but the flood lost some of its velocity deeper into the building.
“We got standing water where others got a raging flood,” Perdieu said.
But that’s water atop a foot of mud — not easy to fix. Yet with the help of more than a dozen volunteers, the interior of CBD American Shaman was close to spotless by week’s end.
The helpers included passersby who just decided to jump in and start scrubbing, bleaching and power-washing.
“They came to this shop and saw hope,” Perdieu said.
Until city inspectors arrive Monday to check the structural safety of 103 Square businesses, and until utilities are restored, all shops will remain closed.
Outside the complex is a different matter, and that’s where Perdieu and husband Eric Banks spent Saturday selling hemp oil, hemp candy and lotion to customers who trust their therapeutic value.
A few minutes later Mel the hauler climbed into his empty pickup and rode away. But he’ll be back on Monday.
“I found some business with the UPS Store,” he said.