Lexington restaurant faces tough cleanup after flooding

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – A Lexington barbeque restaurant is focused on cleanup after being hit hard by recent flooding.

Proud Mary BBQ is set along the Kentucky River. Owner Emilee Sierp said they prepared for a 26-foot flood, but the water ended up cresting at 38 feet.

The flooding left behind knee-deep mud in Sierp’s restaurant. It also took part of the restaurant’s deck with it.

“I need another word for overwhelming because it’s just beyond devastating,” Sierp said. “My whole life’s work and it’s just like Mother Nature was like, ‘Ha! Got ya!’”

Sierp said she is lucky the floor is still in good condition.

Still, it’s another obstacle in a year that’s been full of them. One of the largest obstacles is, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled Mardi Gras, the biggest event of the year for Proud Mary BBQ. Then came the ice storms.

“And then we were hit with this, so it’s like the triple threat,” Sierp said. “ I’m hoping this is it. Gosh, I hope this is it. I’m all cried out there are no tears left to cry.”

Sierp said she is optimistic, though. She is hoping to have the upstairs portion of the restaurant open by Friday. She said there has been an outpouring of support from the community, with about 40 volunteers helping her Sunday.

“We’ll be ok. I really think we’ll be ok and the outpouring of love from the community has been beyond anything I could have imagined,” Sierp said.

If you would like to help Proud Mary Barbeque, a GoFundMe has been set up for donations.

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