Walton County Habitat for Humanity ReStore flooded during Sally

Special to Gannett

SANTA ROSA BEACH —  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 the building and throughout the entire property.

The flooding caused extensive damage and destroyed all of the inventory the ReStore had on hand, and forced it to close until further notice. 

The Walton County Habitat for Humanity ReStore flooded during Hurricane Sally.

“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. 

More:Habitat for Humanity of Walton County breaks ground on new ReStore

It is not the first time the ReStore has sustained a devastating loss from flooding. In May 2014, the property flooded during heavy rains over a three-day period. 

In February 2020, the Restore broke ground on the site of its new store off U.S. 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. The new building is expected to be complete next spring. 

“Unfortunately, our programs and new building rely on the income from our current ReStore, and this unexpected closure is going to make things difficult,” Imdieke said. “We were already struggling with closures due to COVID-19, all of our fundraising events being canceled, and now this. I feel like we got kicked when we were already down.”

More:Habitat for Humanity opens facility in new location

During the past several days, volunteers have helped the ReStore team clean up the property and fill 10 construction dumpsters with 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,” Imdieke said. “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 its website at https://waltoncountyhabitat.org. 

For more information on how to support the recovery efforts, call 850-660-1681, email admin@waltoncountyhabitat.org or go to the website for a list of donatable items.