Local town makes big progress rebuilding after August’s devastating flooding
VIOLA, Wis.– — One local town is taking a big step in returning to normalcy after flooding in August devastated much of the community.
Within the last couple of weeks, Viola’s Post Office and the Viola Quik Stop, a local gas station and deli, reopened for business.
People I spoke with today said the town isn’t fully back to normal yet but it feels good to be making progress.
Kathy Deal, the deli manager at the Viola Quik Stop, said, “The devastation is unbelievable.”
Deal said everything in the gas station was ruined.
“It was totally destroyed. There was over 5 feet of water that rushed in after the dam broke,” Deal said.
For such a small, community Deal said the loss was huge.
“Viola doesn’t have anything other than the station, really, to get a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk,” Deal said.
Until the Viola Quik Stop opened, Deal said, Viola residents had to drive around 6 miles to La Farge or around 13 miles to Viroqua for food.
“It was pretty dismal,” Deal said.
Heather Mccauley a cosmetologist at Shear Bliss, a salon down the street, said the shop also had to rebuild.
“We had about 3 1/2 feet of water in our building,” Mccauley said.
Now that the post office and gas station are open again, Mccauley has a sense of relief.
“It feels like our town’s coming back together. Everybody’s back on Main Street that was once there and, hopefully, it stays that way,” Mccauley said.
But there’s one thought that won’t leave her mind.
“It’s also scary because, with all the snow, comes flooding. It’s always in the back of everyone’s mind,” Mccauley said.
Deal worries about that, too.
“Hopefully, we don’t have to go back to that,” Deal said.
But there’s a big reason she refuses to move.
“The people here are great. People stopped that didn’t even know us and were grabbing sandbags and filling them. Everybody that lives in this town just rallied and cleaned and helped. They had each other’s back,” Deal said.
The Viola Quik Stop is still working on rebuilding.
They say business is slowly coming back and they’re even making some improvements to the store.
They’ve added a “pay at the pump” option so people don’t have to come inside to pay and they’re in the process of adding a beer cave.
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