Fresh Grocer reopens after massive flood during Tropical Storm Isaias

Corey Davis Image
Friday, August 14, 2020
Fresh Grocer reopens after massive flood during tropical storm
The Fresh Grocer store on S. 69th Street reopened after suffering major damage.

UPPER DARBY TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Fresh Grocer store on S. 69th Street reopened Friday after suffering major damage during Tropical Storm Isaias.

"August 4th, it was a Tuesday morning and it started raining and never stopped it felt like," said Fresh Grocer CEO Patrick Burns.

Burns said the water suddenly rushed into the store in Upper Darby Township while people were still inside during the tropical storm.

"Four feet of water just floating throughout the whole store. It came in the back, came in the front. We were lucky to just get people out of here quite honestly," said Burns.

"A lot of people got flooded, even the gas station down the street," said customer Tina Coker.

A truck driver at the nearby gas station didn't have time to pack up before the water got dangerously high as the grocery store continued to flood.

"And then the water was rushing out. It looked like a river rushing out the door as fast as it started receding," said Burns. "The devastation, it was sickening the amount of food lost."

Millions of dollars down the drain, but Burns knew this community needed a store, as it is in a food desert, with no other major options nearby.

"We found out it was closed, and I was like, 'Oh no,' because we needed the food," said customer Mary Cary.

It took 10 days of hard work to get it all up and running for families who shop there.

The store flooded several years ago and now the CEO is considering installing flood gates to help prevent future damage.

"I hope I never have to see anything like that again," said Burns.