Fong's Pizza Starts Long Clean-Up Process - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Fong's Pizza Starts Long Clean-Up Process

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By Lisa Martone

Lmartone@myabc5.com

DES MOINES-- Last Tuesday, more 13 feet of water flooded the basement of the popular downtown Des Moines restaurant, Fong's Pizza.

"This is the main dinning room," said Co-Owner Dennis Epps, as he walks around the debris filled restaurant. "We had about an inch of water over here only because it came up the stairs from the basement."

The basement was completely flooded and water crept into the kitchen and eating areas before the city got it under control. Now, a week later they are really starting to access the damage.

"We really couldn't believe how much destruction…or the fact that coolers were basically picked up and moved across the room," Epps said. "It's just amazing at how much force water has."

Freezers, mixers, coolers, computers, the buildings heating and waters systems-- all of it was destroyed.

"Its our livelihood…but you know, it could have been worse," Epps said.

For the next two months they will clean, repair and rebuild.  Des Moines Water Works has taken full responsibility for the main break and damage. They're working with Fong's and insurance companies to get the place up and running again.

"We are trying to reopen by our anniversary date January 26," Epps said.

Epps also added that one of the worst casualties of this entire mess is the loss of work for the restaurant's 28 employees, especially around Christmas time. They have tried to find them temporary work while the place gets cleaned up, but he says it has been difficult.

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