Fort Payne restaurant owners wrestle with Sunday’s flood damage

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – A family in Fort Payne is used to serving meals, but now they have to figure out how to provide for themselves. Sunday’s storms left them with fewer options than before.

“I feel like this year everything bad just coming together,” said Chow King Co-owner Minke Wang.

For Wang and her husband Yong Chen, the future of their business is muddied.

“I don’t know how to do it because when I think about insurance, it cover everything like a fire or some tornado,” said Chow King Co-owner Yong Chen. “But they told us they didn’t cover the floods.”

Closing down to close down again

The restaurant already closed on March 18.

“We don’t want to spread the virus here, that’s why we closed down the restaurant,” said Chen. Cleaning up is another fight on top of COVID-19.

The floodwaters destroyed just about everything. Large frying pans were filled with mud. Storage units were turned on their sides. Now the family has no idea where the next paycheck is coming from.

“Yes,” said Chen. “That’s all of my income — everything — that’s all of my income.”

Mustering the courage to ask for help

Even asking for help is tough.

“I don’t know,” said Wang. “A lot of friends ask me how can they help me. I say, I don’t know. What can I do right now? So, just wait.”

Chow King won’t walk away defeated. The owners will recreate what they started seven years ago.

DeKalb County leaders say the area near Wills Creek off Highway 35 was hit the hardest Sunday night.

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