This past Friday, October 8, devastating floodwaters overtook downtown Winchester.
RS Guitarworks was one of the businesses that was inundated with over three feet of water. Now, the owners are just trying to pick up the pieces left behind.
“I got a phone call at 10:18 p.m. from the Winchester Police Department asking if I was the owner of RS Guitarworks and informing me that there was three foot of water in our building,” said Roy Bowen, co-owner of RS Guitarworks.
Bowen then went to pick up his partner Scott Leedy, and they tried to enter the flooded building. They quickly realized it wasn’t the best idea.
“So we were waist-deep for at least two, two and a half hours. Just trying to see if there is anything we can do. Obviously, there really wasn’t much we could do,” said Leedy.
Once the sun came up, they were back to clean up. They met with local officials and insurance agents to try to figure out how to function again.
“Well, the first thing that hit us was the smell, just literally took our breath away. A lot of chemicals, sewer drains had backed up,” said Leedy.
The store is not considered to be in a floodplain, so they do not have flood insurance. Over 80% of their inventory was destroyed.
“There has not been any real bright light as of any kinda financial help,” said Bowen.
RS Guitarworks also funds a fundraiser called Guitars for Kids each year, which gives local children guitars for Christmas. Even after the flooding, they are determined to make it happen.
“People are already making gracious donations so the goal is even with the flood, we’re still gonna help some kids,” said Bowen.
All this to ring in their 25th year of being in business. For now, the nationally and internationally recognized RS Guitarworks will have to close their doors indefinitely. They hope they can come back in six weeks.
If you would like to help out RS Guitarworks, here is the link to their official GoFundMe page.