Last week, as Hurricane Sally made her way across the Florida Panhandle, the Habitat ReStore in Walton County was left with 19 inches of standing water in their store and throughout their entire property. Unfortunately, the flooding caused extensive damage and destroyed all of the inventory the ReStore had on hand forcing them to close until further notice.
“Our team and community work hard to ensure our store is stocked with quality furniture and construction materials. It is such a shame that all of that was lost in just a few hours due to the flooding ” said Teresa Imdieke, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity and the ReStore.
This is not the first time the ReStore in Walton County has experienced a devastating loss due to flooding. In May of 2014, the property flooded during heavy rains over a three day period.
In February of 2020 the Restore broke ground on the site of their new store off of Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach. The threat of flooding was one of the many reasons the organization decided to move to a larger, better positioned facility. Their new building is expected to be complete in the Spring of 2021.
“Unfortunately, our programs and new building rely on the income from our current ReStore and this unexpected closure is going to make things difficult,” said Imdeke. “We were already struggling with closures due to COVID 19, all of our fundraising events being cancelled, and now this. I feel like we got kicked when we were already down.”
Over the last several days, volunteers have helped the ReStore team clean up their property and fill ten construction dumpsters full of unsalvageable items. The organization is relying on continued community support to get back up and running as soon as possible. “Our community needs the ReStore more than ever right now. Our store offers affordable construction materials and furniture that will be needed by the families impacted by Hurricane Sally,” said Imdeke. “We need your help filling our store back up with quality material as soon as possible.”
The organization has a list of needed items on their website https://waltoncountyhabitat.org.
For more information on how you can support their recovery efforts please call 850- 660-1681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their website for a list of donatable items.
Walton County ReStore operates as a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of Habitat for Humanity of Walton County, proceeds from the ReStore go toward the Habitat for Humanity mission of eliminating substandard housing. ReStore provides access to lower-cost building materials and household goods to the community, fulfills our
responsibility to the environment by keeping quality goods out of the landfill, and generates funds to build more Habitat houses in Walton County.
Habitat for Humanity of Walton County works to provide affordable housing for working-class citizens. Recipients are selected through an application process and sold a home for its exact building price at zero percent interest. Last year, Habitat for Humanity of Walton County received $130,801 back in mortgage payments and over 4,745 nights were spent under the roof of a Habitat Home in our community.