Flooding devastated Nepenthe Homebrew in Woodberry. (Courtesy of Brian Arnold…)
Businesses along the Jones Falls in the Woodberry neighborhood are used to the Jones Falls surging onto roads and parking lots after rainstorms, but Wednesday's flooding wasn't normal.
At Nepenthe Homebrew in Meadow Mill, owners watched the floodwaters seep into their business, rising from a depth of a few inches to several feet, said Brian Arnold, who owns Nepenthe with his fiancee, Jill Antos. Outside, the water had surged as much as 3 feet higher than flood markers under the Jones Falls Expressway, he said.
"We had a solid five feet," Arnold said. "There’s a line pretty clearly marked on the wall."
Nepenthe and neighbor Mouth Party Caramels were both devastated by the flooding.
"We have suffered great flood damage throughout our entire kitchen," the company wrote on its Facebook page. "We WILL rebuild & come back even sweeter than before."
Arnold said he is in the process of working out insurance adjustments, but estimates he lost $75,000 worth of inventory and $10,000 worth of equipment. The company provides supplies to people who brew their own beer at home.
Since opening in February 2013, the company built up a strong customer base and was profitable in its first year, Arnold said. He knew flooding was a possibility, but didn't expect catastrophe.
"Typically what happens down there when the Jones Falls runs over, it floods the parking lot, but it doesn’t come into the buildings," he said. "I think everybody was pretty shocked by it."