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After the flood: Swift Creek Mill Theatre rebuilds with help from the community

Posted at 3:30 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 17:37:02-04

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Thirteen days after a massive flood, Swift Creek, near the Colonial Heights - Chesterfield County line looks tame.

With rain on the way this weekend forecast, the Swift Creek Mill Theatre is keeping a close eye on the weather forecast.

"I'd be fine with a few weeks of no rain," Steve Koehler, Managing Director of Swift Creek Mill Theatre, said.

After flooding earlier this month damaged the building, theater workers are not taking any chances.

"We placed these U-Haul Pods, this morning we made sure they were up past the waterline, from two weeks ago, just to be sure," Koehler said.

What's happening outside is not affecting the massive clean up inside.

The basement now completely gutted, with crews taking down the ductwork which, Koehler said, pours water as it comes down.

"The extent water was still in those ducts a week and a half after the flood receded was a little bit shocking," he said.

The damage was so extensive, Koehler said the cost of repair is around $100,000.

A $20,000 GoFundMe met its goal and that money has already been spent.

"Clean up so far has cost us over $20,000, just to get us through a couple of days ago," Koehler said.

The flood and the wet basement has caused another issue.

"We are concerned about mold, that's always a concern with a building this old, right on the creek," he said.

But there is some hope that comes with the uphill battle the theater faces.

"We've been receiving donations and kind words from all over the country," he said.