KEARNEY — Cunningham’s Journal on the Lake and UMed Spa are rebuilding.
The two businesses share the same building at the west end of the Younes Complex in south Kearney, and both might be closed for several months while flood repairs are completed.
On Tuesday, employees were carting out water-soaked items and restoration experts were beginning to dehumidify the interior of UMed. The business had been open only one week when the flood struck.
Cunningham’s On the Lake had its first anniversary in June.
Mike Anderson, who co-owns Cunningham’s On the Lake at 610 Talmadge Road with Yousef Ghamedi, said he is astounded by the community’s response. People have volunteered to assist him.
Anderson said he’s attempting to keep as many of his staff occupied as he can. Some are doing cleanup and others are putting in time at Cunningham’s other location, Cunningham’s Journal at 15 W. 23rd St. in downtown Kearney.
Anderson said he hopes to retain as many employees as possible because of Kearney’s labor shortage, even though the south Kearney location likely won’t reopen until September.
Water rose about 28 inches inside the restaurant and bar. Water-logged materials have been cut away so everything left inside can dry before rebuilding begins.
“Everything has been disinfected,” Anderson said, adding that the restored business will look as it did before the flood.
Until Tuesday, water covering the flooded parking lot hampered clean-up progress at UMed Spa, owned by Brad and Kim Rodgers.
“Over the weekend, we cleaned up and now they’re bringing in the big trucks to strip away everything that is wet,” Brad Rodgers said about the restoration company UMed has hired. Dehumidifying the place will take 7-10 days.
Gary Sorensen Construction will be in charge of the rebuild, Rodgers said.
He expects rebuilding could be complicated because wall coverings and other elements of the decor are unique and exotic. “Kim made it look like a destination,” he said.
UMed was set to provide pedicures and manicures, hair styling, massage therapy, Botox and Juvederm, CoolSculpting, facials, tattoo removal and laser hair removal.
The 6,500-square-foot business also featured a large retail space.
Rodgers said his wife was inside the business the morning of the flood when someone warned her that water was rising. Thirty minutes later, the place was underwater.
“I’ve traded my fear for faith and my worry for worship,” Rodgers said about the emotional trauma he and Kim have experienced.
He said that despite the setback, he’s confident about the future. “I truly believe if you take care of Kearney, Kearney will take care of you,” he added.
Mike Anderson at Cunningham’s echoed those feelings. “The support the community has shown has been amazing. They’re volunteering and reaching out to say, ‘How can we help?’”