Tucked away in Falls Church, Virginia, is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts who long to roar across the terrain. Coleman PowerSports is the place to find muscular motorcycles, ATVs, off-roading vehicles and personal watercraft. While the business helps customers get away at top speed, the company itself couldn’t escape a devastating storm that dumped 10 centimeters of rain in just 30 minutes. The National Weather Service classified the freak event as an “extraordinarily dangerous flash flood emergency.” 

“The drain system around the structure couldn’t handle the volume of water,” says Kim Harrison, General Manager at Coleman. “I arrived on the scene about two hours before we opened in the morning to find more than a meter of water in our service area. We were panicking, we didn’t know what to do, so I called Paul Davis and said, ‘I need some help.’”

“The service area was filled with floodwaters that had been contaminated with oil from tipped drums as well as fuel from vehicles in the garage area,” reports Alexis Golkin, Vice President of Paul Davis Suburban Virginia. “When we arrived, the water had started to recede in some parts of the structure but remained trapped in a part of the building below ground level.” 

The Paul Davis crew immediately began mitigation and quickly returned the business to normal operations through rapid, expert restoration methods. Activities included dewatering, materials removal and reinstallation, decontamination protocols and scientific drying procedures. Paul Davis experts also salvaged Coleman archives and manuals that had been soaked with contaminated floodwaters. 

Harrison says the surprise disaster taught Coleman PowerSports important lessons:

  • Prepare for disaster because it can happen suddenly: track weather conditions that could affect your business. Store important items – equipment, records, memorabilia –in areas that are lower risk if disaster hits.
  • Learn what to do if disaster strikes: Harrison says her crew raised garage doors to salvage items from the floodwaters. Paul Davis later told her that leaving them closed would likely have lessened damage. 
  • Know who to call in case of disaster: Harrison’s first call was to the city, which was unable to assist because officials were preoccupied with managing sudden and widespread devastation. Professionals from Paul Davis Suburban Virginia arrived on site a short time after Harrison called, prepared to begin immediate mitigation.

The bottom line for Coleman PowerSports and other commercial businesses? If you arrive at work to find a natural disaster has struck, call Paul: 1-844.215.7898.