Raw sewage floods Florala restaurant

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A popular Florala restaurant is closed indefinitely after being flooded this weekend with raw sewage.

Country Folks Buffet owner Dwight Day said Thursday’s stormwater filled the city sewerage system, causing the lines from his restaurant to back up.

“We’re closed Monday through Thursday, but when I came in Friday at 5 a.m., all that sewer water had come in over the commodes, backed out all through the 10,000 square-foot restaurant.”

Day said while the total amount of damages is unknown, all the carpet and booths inside were ruined and removed.

“It’s just a bad situation,” he said. “X-tra Clean is down now, pulling out carpet and the booths. The floors are being cleaned and the air dehumidified to get things back to normal. I think it’ll be several months to get (repairs) all done.”

Florala Utilities manager Lynn Hughes said as soon as the report came in, an emergency board meeting was held to determine how best to handle the situation. Board members authorized X-tra Clean to “come clean up the mess.”

She said Country Folks was the only business affected, and when utility workers began to investigate the root of the incident, grease blockages were found in the line.

“We got an insurance adjuster here to do an investigation and an engineer to come and do a smoke test to see if he could determine it was anything other than a grease blockage,” she said. “Nothing else was found.”

Since the raw sewage poses a health hazard, the state health department has pulled Country Folk’s food preparation license.

“We’ve been told that as soon as everything is cleaned up and the city gives the OK, he’ll get his permit back and open back up,” she said.