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For Flooded Businesses, Reopening Seems Far Away

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Workers dump wine and beer bottles from local restaurants ruined in the flood along the Georgetown waterfront.
Armando Trull
Workers dump wine and beer bottles from local restaurants ruined in the flood along the Georgetown waterfront.

A dozen dumpsters full of wine, food and expensive furnishings are being carted out by the hour from the flooded eateries. Tony Cibel owns three of them and realizes the daunting task of replacing all that's been lost.

"We're very concerned. We're now in the process of cleaning up, which could take months," he says.

Huge hoses are still pumping dirty brown Potomac water from the flooded areas, but the complex has no running water. Dennis Roche owns a beauty salon, which wasn't flooded but is affected by the power outage.

"It's hard to run a hair salon without power on, and right now we're looking at power being returned by Monday to the upper level shops, condos and offices. the lower level sustained much more damage," Roche says.

Helder Gill, with the District's Office of Regulatory Affairs, says there are a number of codes businesses have to comply with before opening again.

"The duty is on the property managers and the building owners to make sure that all the construction work meets the various codes, and then on the restaurants themselves to make sure what they have done and are doing meets all the food and health codes," Gill says.

There's no telling when the properties will certified and ready to open.

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