CLARKSVILLE – Clarkville’s capacious Antique Center was a very well-appointed island for much of this year’s flooding.

Although outside of the official flood-fighting zone efforts, the store still had help from volunteers, a pre-existing flood wall, and improvised improvements to its defenses: a ramshackle bridge from the antique center to higher ground, and the 250 table leaves bolted on to the flood wall to make it just a little taller.

And then the power went out in a storm in early June — turning the dry ground that the center’s defenders had fought for into a swimming pool, in the words of Angi Grossnickle, the center’s owner.

That prompted a scramble to protect what she could — stacking objects and putting Dixie cups on the legs of the bottom piece of furniture in each pile.

The center is an important driver of business in Clarksville, and a big part of its tax base — so its good news for the town, as well as for lovers of esoterica, that Grossnickle plans to re-open, with improvements, in the coming weeks.

Among the improvements: two-party epoxy flooring, a replacement for the carpeting that had proved to be a problematic option for a flood-prone building after both the flood of 2008 and of 2019. Walls have been replaced, and cracks in the concrete beneath the flooring have been filled in.

“We’re doing it right. That’s the thing,” Grossnickle said.

Grossnickle added that her vendors have been “very kind” over the course of the flooding, and said she has had inquiries from vendors looking for more space. Part of the overhaul of the center has actually included turning what was once a storage area into more space for vendors to display their wares.

Its been long weeks of long days working on getting the center ready to re-open, according to Grossnickle — but as the date of re-opening approaches, the work is getting ready to pay off.

“It’ll be better than ever,” Grossnickle said.

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