FALMOUTH, Ky. -- All that is left of Wyatt's Super Valu here is the shell of the building. Floodwaters, which have plagued the Ohio River Valley this month and devastated this northern Kentucky town, rose 7 feet above floor level.
"About the only thing that was left, that was not damaged, was the ceiling and the wiring in the ceiling," said Gary Bumgardner, director of customer service, for Supervalu's Central region.
Supervalu, a voluntary wholesaler, services independently owned Super Valu supermarkets in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia through its Central region based in Greenville, Ky. The owner of the store, Ruby Wyatt, has operated it for 50 years and is "firmly committed to rebuild," Bumgardner said. "She is undaunted by this."
Wyatt was not available for comment.
Although Supervalu's Central region covers other states affected by floods, no other stores were severely affected, said Bumgardner. Several stores, however, were cut off from deliveries due to flooded access roads, he said.
In Cynthiana, Ky., floodwaters came within a block of Ken's Super Valu, but did not enter it. In Shepherdsville, Ky., a Winn-Dixie supermarket narrowly averted major damage.
"The entire parking lot was flooded," said Nelson Rodenmayer, marketing director for Winn-Dixie Midwest. "[The employees] had taken bags of potting soil and used them as sandbags in front of the store. As the water was coming in, they were suctioning it out. They stayed in there so the store itself wasn't damaged. But it was close for a few days.
"We were very fortunate," he added. "We had a lot of customers around us that were greatly affected by the flood."
Rodenmayer said stores in Georgetown and Louisville, Ky., were each closed for one day, and a few stores lost power temporarily. Except for the closed stores, deliveries were made as scheduled, he said.
Demand has been heavy for bottled water, toiletries, diapers, canned goods and other emergency supplies. However, stores have not reported any shortages.
"Our category managers have been working pretty hard to bring in extra shipments of bottled water and cleaning supplies from other areas," Rodenmayer said. The need for extra bottled water and cleaning supplies will probably continue for two or three more weeks, he said.
Kroger has not yet assessed the damage to its store in Lawrenceburg, Ind., which at one point was flooded with about 6 feet of water. However, employees were working around the clock last week in an effort to reopen the store as soon as possible, said spokesman Paul Bernish.
Remarkably, the Lawrenceburg unit was the only Kroger store to sustain major damage in the flood, Bernish said.