'It's heartbreaking': Habitat for Humanity ReStore a victim of the storm before opening date

restore flooding

The April 29 storm, which caused much devastation and flooding to the Walton County area, also postponed the Habitat for Humanity ReStore opening. The store sells gently-used furniture and construction materials to help cover costs of the non-profit foundation.

Special to The Sun
Published: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 04:13 PM.

The Habitat for Humanity of Walton County ReStore was scheduled to open this week in Santa Rosa Beach , but fell victim to flooding after the April 29 storm, which destroyed most of the store's inventory as well as flooring and walls.

Teresa Imdieke, executive director of Habitat for Humanity, knew that the building was in trouble when she saw the Walton County Sheriff's Office share a photo of 393, where the store is located, under water. She had to wait until May 1 when the roads were open to asses the damage.

When she finally got to the store, Imdieke couldn't hold back tears.

"I bawled," she said. "It was literally total devastation. We had to throw away everything because of the flood."

Just a few miles away from the store, Imdieke's Santa Rosa Beach home suffered no damages. The store, which was originally a fire station, did not even flood during category five Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

"We thought we were safe," she said. "We had coverage for hurricanes and everything — except flooding."

With a store already in Freeport , Habitat for Humanity had been looking to place a ReStore in South Walton County for years. ReStores usually house donations of gently-used and new furniture and building materials, which are sold to cover costs of operations.

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