MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- Instead of celebrating a major milestone, Costco employees in Middleton were busy cleaning up after the heavy rain and flooding forced the store to close.
"It was the 10-year anniversary of this building. We opened August 20, 2008 and this last Monday was the anniversary,” said warehouse manager Justin Ferguson. “We had quite a bit of water coming to the building. And we lost power, the whole area lost power. It was a pretty substantial amount of water that came in the building.”
“I would say just after about 9 o’clock, we had managers checking out the perimeter of the building. And there was just water seeping through the doors. And we were just doing what we could to squeegee it out. Use our scrubbers to get it all picked up. But it wouldn’t stop,” said assistant warehouse manager Goldie Vastag.
“Throughout the night, we had things that were just randomly falling because the cardboard was giving way. So it was a mess,” she said.
After being closed for a week, the store is now ready to re-open.
"We have a cleanup crew here that's been here since Tuesday. We've had some amazing employees. We had help from all over the state. We have people from corporate coming to help get everything back online. It’s been a team effort,” Ferguson said.
Costco employees also helped those stranded in Middleton that night. Vastag said the fire department was dropping people off at Costco to make sure they were safe.
“We were just trying to keep everyone safe and take care of everybody as best as possible. At one point we had members on the couches. We just wanted to have everyone upfront so we could help them and make sure everybody was safe,” she said. “We would all go around and get a cart full of stuff, all different sizes, all different things that everybody was comfortable.”
According to Ferguson shelves will be about 75 to 85 percent stocked.
“The majority of our departments will be open. No optical, the pharmacy, hearing aid, our gas station is currently open. We don't have any ovens. We'll have limited bakery items,” he said.
With so much flooding throughout the building, there wasn't much they could save. So to prepare for the reopen, they threw away everything and started fresh.
“Overall the majority of it was just trash. Anything refrigerated or perishable, we didn't even take a chance. We just threw it all away. All food was pretty much thrown away,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson couldn't quantify just how much the closure cost the store.
“It’s really hard to get a figure. We’re going to be reconciling this for the next six weeks. And again it’s hard for me to say. The registers for example, they’re fine and operable. But we’re not going to take a chance. We’re going to replace all of our registers. And most of that stuff will take place over the course of the next few weeks,” he said.
After being closed for so long, Vastag is eager to get back to work.
“We can't wait. It's so excited. We've had members reaching out to us wondering how we're doing. We just can't wait to go back to business and be able to open up again.”
“I think they’re going to be really excited to see all the members. The members have shown a lot of appreciation via social media, the other warehouse. It’s been great,” Ferguson said.
Middleton Costco will be open Tuesday during regular business hours from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.