Most businesses are back after the White River Junction building flooded

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Almost all of the businesses in the Gates Briggs Building have reopened after flooding since Aug. 15, with the exception of Tuckerbox, a landmark restaurant that likely won’t be open for at least another month.

The 130-year-old block building was flooded with an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 gallons of water when an automated sprinkler line broke, filling the basement with up to 3 feet of water in some areas.

The entire building was closed for a day and a half, with many businesses and offices upstairs allowed to reopen on August 17 after the building was deemed safe.

Another business that was closed longer than the others, Piecemeal Pies, reopened on Wednesday.

Personal manager Kimberly Pearce said business was probably double what it would be on a normal day.

“People are very excited to have us back,” Pierce said. “Today was really busy.”

Pierce said their basement also flooded, but they only stored paper goods downstairs, so the impact was limited.

Vural and Jacky Oktay, owners of Tuckerbox, returned from Turkey at 2am on Wednesday and 12 hours later were still trying to explain their losses.

The couple had not been on holiday for eight years and had been out of the country for less than a week when they learned of the flooding.

But to come home and see the damage first hand was overwhelming.

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