MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - The water is receding in Moline and the work is just starting for business owners.
Pamela Henry has owned the River Drive costume shop for decades.
As a costume designer, she made some of the items in Pamela's Razz Pizzazz by hand.
She's been loading piles of the damaged clothes and accessories into her car for a week so that she can take them home and wash them.
"Everything was floating as the water got sucked out," says Henry. "There was a lot of wigs, I didn't even know my sewing machines, two of them were underwater, all my makeup cases are ruined."
As she throws the small circular facepaint and makeup cases into a large trash bag she recounts how much each one cost, "four dollars, five dollars, nine dollars, all just ruined."
All 5,000 square feet of costumes were touched by flood water.
"It's going to take me months because it's just me," says Henry.
She says spilling out the water of each container, and assessing the damage to each and every garment is something she has to do, and some of the damage is structural.
"The bathroom is completely destroyed, look at the sink and the water tank somehow floated," says Henry in awe.
The back of the store is where the water appears to have reached well over waist-high on the 5'8" business owner. Pamela opens a plastic container she hopes floated in the water.
"It didn't get wet!" she says laughing. "Praise God that's amazing!" She lets out a scream while opening a second container. "They're good praise, God, they're ok, these are 1890's costume they're very expensive," she says in both joy and disbelief.
With 34 years of sweat, blood and tears poured into this business,
so much of this is more than hand made costumes or money.
"I asked for them to pray for me at church not to have hoarders spirit because I have to let go of things," she says filled with emotion.
With the daunting task of going through thousands of square feet of costumes ahead of her, it's clear the fuel must come from passion. So what do the items in this store mean to Pamela?
"These are like my children," she says holding back tears. "I never thought about it. These are my babies. One of my goals was to make memories happen and I've made so memories happen for children's parties I've made so many incredible things happen with this costume shop," says Henry.
And when she's finished putting this all back together again bit by bit, Pamela hopes to continue to build more memories for others.
TV6 Update on May 14, 2019:
Pamela's Razz Pizzazz said they asked the city for dumpsters and were not provided any, and that when they asked to hook up to a hydrant the city requested a $500 deposit. TV6 reached out to the city of Moline and they say that the city does not have dumpsters and have never had dumpsters and are therefore are unable to provide any. They do provide pickup for residents only, and not businesses. With regards to the hydrant there's a $500 refundable deposit that covers the cost of removing a device which prevents backflow - protecting the city's water system. The deposit is refunded when the device is restored. There are costs associated with the use of the hydrant: $50 for meter setting and removal, $ 25-meter testing fee, $2 per day meter fee, $1 capacity fee, $6.26 billing fee and then $4.89 per every 1,000 gallons used. Rental fees for certified Reduced Pressure Zone (PRZ) backflow prevention devices (which are required for all remote water use connections) can be provided from the city at cost. The City of Moline says "rental fees for City supplied RPZ's are $5 per day for 2inch RPZ's and $2 per day for RPZ's smaller than 2 inches." The requester must contact the Water Division if the water is going to be used for human consumption and "all applicable fees will be deducted from the Applicant's $500 deposit and any remaining balance of the deposit will be refunded to the Applicant."