Dave Phillips, of Mary St’s Pedal Power Plus bicycle shop, turned a flood into a refurbishment.
Dave Phillips, of Mary St’s Pedal Power Plus bicycle shop, turned a flood into a refurbishment. Renee Pilcher

Flooded shops face new test

AS Louisa and Clinton Corbet cleaned up after Gympie's Mary St flood, one year ago this week, there was one oft-repeated sentiment they grew to find especially irritating.

"It was quite annoying to hear people say that Gympie is used to flooding and we don't let it worry us," Louisa said as she coped with a busy spell in the shop yesterday.

"Firstly, it was our first flood and secondly, there was the sheer logistics of shifting out. It was intimidating," she said.

"And to be shut for so long, at what is normally a peak month, financially it meant we were starting the year with a struggle.

"And it wasn't an overwhelmingly friendly year for business anyway," she said.

Fortunately, an ingenious system developed by Clinton, virtually on the spot, helped them move twice as much stock in half the time it would otherwise have taken.

"We knocked out the front door so we could get pallets in and out. We went along the aisles, loading up the pallets, cling-wrapped them and jacked them out of the store.

"It was phenomenal to move so much stock so quickly and, because Clinton had numbered them, we just followed the numbers and the shop went back together," she said.

This year the worries are economic.

"There's always something," she said. "That's life. You just deal with it."

A relatively dry January, without having to evacuate G and K Footwear may have affected Glen Alfredson's notoriously dry sense of humour.

Asked how the two years compared, he said: "I've found it a little drier this year.

"We were OK (during the flood)," he said.

"But we had help. We didn't lose any property, but being closed for a week in January was our biggest blow," he said.

Dave Phillips, of Pedal Power Plus, said he had previous experience of a bike shop in Brisbane that flooded.

"Before that it burned down," he said.

"The best thing about it was making friends - the camaraderie among retailers.

"I like to think I made the best of it," he said of his decision to "put his best foot forward", refurbishing the shop while it was closed.

Gympie Times


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