“This is what devastation looks like,” said Robert Quigley during an impromptu tour of his muddy, flood-ravaged business, in Hatboro.
“There isn’t enough hot water in the world to deal with this,” Quigley said as he made his way past family members scrubbing tirelessly in an attempt to salvage some remnant of the former family-owned pizza and sandwich shop that he owns with his daughter, Amy Quigley.
To say the business was is an understatement. Mud lines the eatery’s walls on all sides, clings to its floors and food preparation equipment, and infiltrated its storage space, freezers and refrigerators, contaminating fresh and frozen food alike. Even with the property’s doors propped open Wednesday, a smell was ever-present throughout.
“There’s way too much damage,” Amy Quigley said. “Everything’s contaminated.”
If an estimated four feet of murky flood water and large tree limbs floating through the business was not enough, Quig’s was hit by a double whammy, when, , leaving behind an oil slick and further ramifications.
In all, 200 gallons of motor oil spilled from oil tanks inside the business next door, Quality Car Care, according to Keith Gordon, chief. Gordon said the oil tanks, situated inside the car repair shop, were not held in place. And with rushing flood water, were able to float inside the building
“Once they spilled over into the flood everything got out into the parking lot,” Gordon said. “Our job was just to contain it and make sure the proper people were called.”
The county’s hazmat team assisted in the cleanup, Amy Quigley said, adding that because so much water made its way inside, much more work is needed.
“The landlord himself has to gut all the walls,” she said.
Since the business opened four and a half years ago it’s seen several setbacks. In its first year of operation, Quig’s had a problem with its sewer. Two years ago, during another storm, two feet of water flooded the business. And, now, in the aftermath of an oil spill and another flood, the Quigleys say that Quig’s Pizza may not be part of the future – at least at the current location.
“It has to get easier, that’s for sure,” Robert Quigley said, noting that between the down economy and natural disasters, the business has withstood “more than any one business owner can handle.”
To further complicate matters, the Quigleys said they are still responsible for making monthly payments on the loan acquired to finance the business - even with a total loss of the business’ $300,000 in annual sales. Insurance will likely cover some of the damage, they said, but the family is still waiting to find out when claims would be paid.
Robert Quigley, 60, a retired grocery store meat cutter, invested $165,000 in the business through the purchase of necessary foodservice equipment, tables and chairs and more to help bring his daughter’s dream to fruition.
“This is her future, her job,” he said. “I’m here because of her. I don’t need this place to sustain me.”
Amy Quigley, who has been working in pizzerias for about 20 years – waitressing, cooking and managing – said she brought all of those duties under one roof at Quig’s, where it was common to work alongside her family.
“We come from a big family,” she said. “Everyone pitches in to help.”
Still, even with family members scrubbing dishes and hosing off racks Wednesday, it did little for the complete site rebuilding that’s needed, Robert Quigley said.
“There’s nothing we can do in there,” he said. “We’re trying to determine what’s salvageable.”
Amy Quigley, who said she’s cried about the loss, is trying to find a way to laugh about what her father calls “devastation.” Instead of pizza pies, she jokes with friends that she can fix them a “mud pie."
“The damage is already done,” she said. “You’ve just got to start over.”