UPDATE: Block Party Helps Wash Away Flood

Community celebrates reopening of Fort Plain, N.Y., Nice N Easy store

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

Fort Plain, N.Y., Nice N Easy

FORT PLAIN, N.Y. -- On Thursday, the Fort Plain, N.Y., community turned out for a party at the local Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppe that was closed after a flood in late June.

Nice N Easy posted this message on its Facebook page: "Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make this happen! We are proud to have been able to host such a wonderful event with the cooperation with the local government officials, police, fire department and volunteers. Thank you!"

On June 28, literally days after completing a four-month renovation that included a new walk-in cooler/freezer, a new floor, new gondolas, a new graphics package, fresh paint and a complete store reset, the Fort Plain, N.Y., Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppe got hit by a devastating flood that smashed through the glass of the front door, filling the store with 3-1/2 feet of water and leaving three inches of thick mud in its wake. It was forced to close.

Click here view a YouTube video of the flood.

The store reopened on Sept. 16.

Following the flood, executives for Blueox Corp., which operates the Fort Plain Nice N Easy Valero-branded location, said the store needed to be completely gutted--walls, flooring, cabinetry and electricity needed to be removed and all products and supplies were sent to the dump.

John Zbytniewski (known as "Z") is the director of franchise for Nice N Easy. He provided this account of the flood and the store's recovery to CSP Daily News:

Over and over I heard the following from customers and workers: "How could something like this happen here?". Friday, June 28, central New York was hit with flash flooding, and the Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppe owned and run by the Blueox Corp. located in Fort Plain, N.Y., just barely survived the unbelievable flood created by the little Otsquago Creek that runs through the ravine next to the store.

Normally during the summer months, you could walk across the ravine and just barely get your ankles wet. But on Friday, June 28, an amazing storm came through central New York, dropping rain in bucket. The water rose an astonishing 24 feet in less than 30 minutes. The water overflowing the banks and running through the parking lot was as much as four feet deep. The current was so strong that it lifted many sections of sidewalk and rolled back the parking lot pavement as if it were paper. The water inside the store created unbelievable damage, flipping over the ice cream and ice chest cabinets, along with the grab-and-go cases like they were little boats in turbulent water.