Village cleanup continues

It will be a while before anyone can get gasoline at Leaders Sunoco in Chadds Ford Township. It's going to be even longer before people can get a meal at Hank's Place across the street from Leaders.

"We might have to take it down to the studs," said Hank's Place owner Anthony Young while watching work crew gut the roughly 70-year-old restaurant.

Young and his wife Katie had just finished talking with representatives from FEMA and PEMA. Those representatives spoke with residents and business owners along Creek Road who continued their cleanup efforts and assessed property damage from Hurricane Ida Wednesday morning.

"We're gutting the place," Anthony Young said. "Anything having to do with food, gas, or electronics is going into the garbage. I might be able to use a couple of cutting boards, but they're going, too."

The devastation was so severe that Joel Plotkin, of Kennett Square and a friend of the Youngs, started a gofundme campaign.

The goal is to raise $150,000, and Young said he's genuinely appreciative.

Jim Leader sorts through flood-drenched paperwork.

Across the street at Leaders, Jim Leader was busy trying to separate drenched paperwork while his son Dan was cleaning up and trying to find a workable electric outlet to run the shop vac.

"I'm still in the shock and awe stage," Dan Leader said. "There's still mud everywhere. I'm trying to keep my chin up."

Jim Leader said he hopes to have two of the service bays back in operation sometime next week, though he can't be certain. Also uncertain is when he'll be able to pump gas.

The storm flooded the pumps, and water got into the below-ground tanks. As a result, the product can't be used, and the pumps need replacing. Flood insurance doesn't cover anything outside, he said.

While damaged as severely as Leaders or Hank’s, Antica and Brandywine Prime remain closed until they can be cleaned up.

Gent Mema, of Antica, expressed his frustration and anxiety.

“If I’m closed for a week, I’m done. I’ve already been closed for six days,” he said.

The aftermath along Station Way Road.

A Chadds Ford Business Association meeting scheduled for tomorrow at Brandywine Prime had to be canceled.

While state Rep. Craig Williams was escorting FEMA, PEMA, and Delaware County emergency personnel through the area, township Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator Phil Wenrich said the township is coordinating efforts to get emergency relief funding.

"We're collecting data for a damage report," he said. "We want an estimate of damage and a rough estimate of the cost of the damage."

That information will then go to the county for review.

According to Williams, relief funds may come from the county, state, and federal levels once the assessment is finished.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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