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City of Galax still recovering from past floods, now prepping for Florence

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GALAX, Va. – Florence preparations are happening across the country and right here in Southwest Virginia.

The city of Galax is in the midst of flooding clean up already and they are getting ready for Florence now, which comes with some extra bumps in the road.

Stephen Thomas is the owner of Main Street Barbershop in Galax. He is one of the many businesses that received damages this past weekend due to flooding.

“We are kind of just going with the flow and hope it doesn't happen again, but we know it is,” said Thomas. 

Thomas is one of the lucky ones but will have to replace the carpet, potentially costing hundreds.

“It stayed at ground level because of the sump pump that I have in the back and without that I could imagine it would have been 4 to 5 inches at least in the back of the store,” Thomas said. 

He tells 10 News he didn't prep before the weekend and ignored the alerts but will be ready this go around.

“I am going to be putting in some work into the front door in this area and not only sandbags but I am going to make a piece of plywood that is going to have weather stripping on the bottom, top and two sides. Hopefully that will help prevent any water from getting in,” Thomas said.

Thomas, along with the rest of the city, continues to prepare for Florence,which could hit later this week.

“We are allocating resources here and we are using our utility crews and putting all of our equipment from other departments there. We are trying to get as many resources as we can right now,” said Keith Barker, Galax city manager. 

According to Barker, at this point he expects many businesses could be damaged, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Don't get out in this weather when you don't need to. I think we had eight cars trapped behind water in this last event,” Barker said.

The city is encouraging all residents to sign up for its alerts system on its website and to prepare for what the weather may bring.