Flooding from burst pipe closes three downtown Poulsbo businesses

Flooding was reported at Boehm’s Chocolates in Poulsbo shortly before 9:45 a.m. Thursday.

As she posted signs stating the store would be closed due to water damage, an employee of the prominent Front Street chocolatier — who asked not to be named — described the extent of the flooding as “Like someone turned on several bathtubs and it’s now leaking through the ceiling.”

Jody Matson, a spokesperson for the Poulsbo Fire Department, said a pipe leading to a toilet on the second floor of the building was to blame for the flooding.

“It flooded the three businesses below. Our crew came out [and] shut off the water [and] spent well-over an hour assisting with vacuuming up the water,” Matson said.

The Cargo Hold, and Salt Kettle were also closed as a result of the water damage. With businesses in downtown Poulsbo gearing up for the holiday season, it appears that the flooding couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Karen Suther said in the more-than 30 years that she and her mother have owned Boehm’s, she has never experienced anything on the level of Thursday morning’s flooding.

“Being that it’s the busiest time of year for us, it’s really heartbreaking,” Suther said. “We opened at 9:30 and noticed that our little window panes all had condensed water on them, opened up and it’s just raining from the ceiling … A pipe burst and who knows when? I left at eight o’clock last night. With it being so cold last night, I don’t know how long it was flooding.”

Suther said she was working to salvage what merchandise she could save from being ruined by the water.

“A lot of our candies are damaged,” she said. “Our landlord has provided some space to bring everything that isn’t damaged and we’re going to be working really hard to dry [the store] out tonight and tomorrow. We are not certain as to when we can open up for business again.”

In the wake of the flooding, neighbors have offered some assistance to Suther, who says despite the damage, Boehm’s still hopes to offer something sweet to those seeking a holiday gift for loved ones.

“Lots of neighbors have offered some space for us to try to sell some of our goods,” Suther added. “We’re going to try to provide our chocolates at some space down here.”

—Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at ntwietmeyer@soundpublishing.com

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