Fort Gibson Auto Refinishing Shop Loses Business, Customer Cars To Flood

Thursday, June 6th 2019, 10:32 pm
By: News On 6

The owner of Fort Gibson's Auto Refinishing shop lost not only his business to flooding, but he also had about $100,000 worth of customer's vehicles in the shop.

Jeramy Rhoden does paint and body work and custom work on hot rods and motorcycles.

Lori Fulbright, reports, "The force of the water coming into this business was so strong, it washed out the foundation underneath the business, then caused the concrete slab to collapse by about two feet."

Jeramy Rhoden had to come by boat to get a first look at his flooded business, and while it looked heartbreaking and gut wrenching from the outside, seeing the reality of what happened inside, after the water receded, was even worse.

Lori, asks, "What was it like when you first saw all the water?"
Jeramy Rhoden says, "It was bad."
Lori, reporter: "Everything you've worked for your whole life, gone."
Jeramy Rhoden, says, "Wiped out."

He says before the flood, the estimates of the height of the water still left him 6 feet in the clear, so they weren't worried and didn't move out cars, tools or paint, but those estimates were way off. By the time he realized that, it was too late.

"It was so strong, that Thursday I came up here, it sounded like the roaring river coming over the highway, just roaring," Rhoden said.

He estimates he lost more than $100,000 in paint inventory alone, and he's hoping there will be some way to salvage his paint booth and its 150 million BTU burner.

He had a customer's new Jaguar that water got into and some hot rods that were just about ready for delivery.

The loss is overwhelming.

Jeramy Rhoden,says, "Haven't slept at all hardly; it's bad, bad, bad."

He's had friends who have offered help and others who offered their shops and paint booths after hours, so he can get some work done, while trying to rebuild.

Even though these businesses are facing devastation, what we've heard over and over, they are the ones donating to other victims, who they believe have gotten it worse.