Owners of Jak and Jill in Cootamundra vow to return after storm shuts store

CLEAN UP: Stephen Hines said Jak and Jill had been closed since the storm but would be back 'bigger and better' after the clean-up. Photo: Declan Rurenga
CLEAN UP: Stephen Hines said Jak and Jill had been closed since the storm but would be back 'bigger and better' after the clean-up. Photo: Declan Rurenga

The storm which hit Cootamundra on Tuesday is reported to have dumped up to 40 millimetres in around 30 minutes.

According to the Bureau of Meterology’s measures at Cootamundra Airport, 26.6 millimetres was recorded.

Retailer Jak and Jill has been closed since Tuesday afternoon after water entered the roof.

Co-owner Stephen Hines said the shop would re-open but didn’t know how long the recovery would take.

Mr Hines estimated around 85 to 90 per cent of the stock had been lost.

“The delay is out of hands. You can’t just go to suppliers to buy new stock, most of it is bought six months in advance, at minimum it’s four months," he said.

Mr Hines said Phil Davies Amcal and Judy Boyd from Landmark had offered storage space while Jak and Jill’s owners cleaned up after the storm.

“The help we’ve gotten from everyone in town is just amazing,” Mr Hines said.

“We’re still getting calls from people far and wide and people are offering help.

The rain was pouring through every hole in the roof from light fittings to air-condition vents.

“The box gutters couldn’t cope with the water,” he said.

“The ceiling looked like a big square shower head.”

Mr Hines said the owners were covered with insurance and that there would be structural repair work to be done.

“We’ll be back bigger and better, this isn’t going to close us.”

VIDEO: A storm battered Cootamundra on Tuesday.

Cootamundra’s IGA supermarket was also closed following the storm but re-opened 24 hours afterwards.

“The roof couldn’t cope with the amount of rain,” duty manager Sue Annetts said.

When staff turned up to work on Wednesday, the spent most of the day cleaning.

Mrs Annetts said there little stock damage and the store has returned to normal trading hours.

Maddi Cooper from Helen’s Cafe and Coffee Lounge described the storm as “crazy”.

“I’ve never seen that amount of rain in that a period of time,” Miss Cooper said.

As well as putting some buckets around to catch leaks, staff were chasing down umbrellas caught by the wind.

Ron Loiterton Real Estate Agents’ Daryl Sedgwick said he had been watching the radar before the storm hit.

“In my 45 years in this office, it’s as good a storm as I’ve ever seen,” Mr Sedgwick said.

“Cootamundra has a very resolute business community, I would expect most businesses to be up and operating very quickly.”

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