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Smith brothers, 82 and 83, hope to reopen groceries

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson Bill Smith, 83 (left), and brother Jim, 82, plan to reopen their Smith’s Foodfair, in Clendenin. The store was heavily damaged in the massive floods nearly two weeks ago. It originally opened in 2005.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson
Bill Smith, 83 (left), and brother Jim, 82, plan to reopen their Smith’s Foodfair, in Clendenin. The store was heavily damaged in the massive floods nearly two weeks ago. It originally opened in 2005.

CLENDENIN, W.Va. — In 62 years of business, Bill Smith has never seen anything like the severe flooding in Elkview and Clendenin. Not even close.

More than 5 feet of water tore through his grocery store, Smith’s Foodfair, in Clendenin, during the floods just under two weeks ago, leaving behind thick layers of mud and tossing thousands of food items all across the store.

Soda bottles, hot dog buns, bags of potato chips, canned vegetables and plastic storage totes are caked with mud and other debris in the store’s dark warehouse.

Foodfair had just received several shipments of alcohol, bread, fresh produce and potato chips on the day of the flood, gearing up for the July 4 holiday — and it’s all gone.

Photos on employees’ cellphones show a meat case inside the store ripped from the wall, lying in what once was an aisle…

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