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UPDATED: Barrie business owner devastated by damage from flooding

Bayfield Mall became flooded after Sunday night's intense storm; ‘Right now, I’m at the lowest. There’s nowhere further down to go’

UPDATE: After this story was published, Booth contacted BarrieToday to let us know Bayfield Mall management had agreed to pay for the clean up of his store. He said management also brought on a plumber to fix the original source of the problem.

“So, it shouldn’t happen again,” said Booth. “I want to give credit to the Bayfield Mall, because they’ve gone out of their way.”

 

Vincent Booth can’t catch a break.

The owner of Sir Games-a-Lot in the Bayfield Mall in Barrie has owned his store for 17 years. He, along with many other local business owners have been struggling with declining sales due to COVID-19 restrictions, but on Sunday his business took another hit.

He rushed into his store late Sunday night to find it completely flooded after thunderstorms struck the city. He estimates about $10,000 in damage in total was done to his merchandise and fixtures.

“It’s just one thing after another, after another. It’s getting to a point where, I’m almost 60 years old and I’m thinking... what’s the point?” said Booth. “As Nietzsche said, that which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I don’t need any more of this.”

“Right now, I’m at the lowest. There’s nowhere further down to go,” he said.

Booth estimates there was about $5,000 worth of damage in destroyed merchandise alone. His internet and phone lines, carpeting, fixtures and filing cabinets full of paperwork also took a significant hit.

“It’s another thing on top of all the other crap that’s going on,” said Booth. “The entire bottom floor was flooded. Mine was the worst because my store is at the lowest point. There’s still water on the floor of my store.”

Photos posted to social media on Monday show flooding throughout Booth’s store spilling in from the hallway of the lower level of the Bayfield Mall.

“The photographs I took were four hours after my son-in-law and I had swept a lot of water out of the store and back into the hallway to try to stem the tide,” he said.

Booth said flooding in the mall has happened in the past starting about five years ago, however he said new owners took over about two years ago and he doesn’t think they were aware of the previous troubles.

Booth said one of the mall managers did come to help sweep water on Monday and has been supportive.

“Now they’ve said they’re going to check it every year to make sure it’s still OK,” he said. “That doesn’t help me right now though.”

Calls by BarrieToday to management of the Bayfield Mall were not returned by publication time.



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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 11 years of experience to her role as regional reporter for Village Media, primarily covering County of Simcoe matters, education and features
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