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Support Continues for Walker Store Owner
WALKER, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--When you talk about flooding in Eastern Iowa, many remember the floods of 2008 and its devastating effect on the community.
For some in the small town of walker, they remember May and June 2013, when flood waters brought an end to the city's only grocery store.
The thing that brought Sherbon's Flower Market back to life after a flash flood is the same thing that is keeping it going to this day: lots of community support.
The waters in the creek near Sherbon's Flower Market are calm now, but last year on May 29th it was a different story.
"It was a Wednesday night and we had some severe storms predicted, said Jane Meisheid, owner of Sherbons Flower Market.
At first, Jane Meisheid who ran Walker's only grocery store wasn't too worried.
"They talked about rain but they didn't really stress rain. It was going to be more wind and hail, but soon things turned chaotic.
More than six inches of rain on already saturated grounds.
"Started out with a little bit of water in the store and it just continued to rise, said Jane.
It was a flash flood.
"We spent a lot of time thinking we could save some of the product and stuff and we would put that up on higher shelves and we had to keep just moving it up higher and I don't know at what point, they came and said you need to get out, she said.
By then the water was knee high. The store was a swimming pool filled with groceries.
"It's like being in a river and you're just surrounded by stuff and its loaves of bread, its boxes of cereal, said Jane.
Clean up began the next morning, thanks to help from the community.
"People came to help. They just stopped what they were doing. They were here, said nearby resident, Kathy Zabokrtsky.
"You couldn't believe how many people came. In fact there were some days they had to turn some of them away. They didn't have enough work for them to do at that time, said Bonny Kayser, Walker resident.
"We got this place all cleaned ready to go. We had painted the floor, put in the new walls, put in new insulation, Jane said, but then less than a month later on June 25th, another flood.
"It had just undone everything that we'd done. Every work that we'd done. So we started over, Jane said.
With no insurance and after losing most of her food products, Jane started over as simply a flower market. She had to give up on the grocery side
"My husband is retired now and I have grand kids and I'm like Im not going to go back into depth and start all over, said Jane.
It was a huge loss to the people of Walker because the little grocery store played a big role in their everyday lives. It spans back to more than three decades, 33 years as the cornerstone of a community.
"Milk, eggs, butter, basics, you run out of those you just run down here. We don't have that convenience anymore, Bonny said.
"I miss that part, but I'm so glad that the girls and their families pulled together so that we could keep Sherbon's market because it's a special place, special people here, said Kathy.
Now, a simple grocery run takes more planning.
"Usually I have to run to Center Point, Winthrop Independence, said Bonny.
"But you know that's a long drive. Very long drive when you just need something that you ran out of, said Kathy, but the camaraderie here lives on.
"Every time it rains I think we all think about them. And pray that it never happens again, said Bonny.
"This is very nice. This is very nice. People still come. People support it and she still has a chocolate, thats the big thing because I'm the chocolate queen, said Kathy.
Almost a year later, the calm waters in this creek are not just a reminder of what was but also a sign of rebirth.
"We were able to take something really really bad and tragic that happened and we still feel we're still serving the community but in a different way, Jane said.
Next Thursday is the anniversary of that first flood. Jane says she doesn't have anything big planned.
She says the overflowing approval from the people of Walker has helped her put the past behind.