Minh’s Restaurant reopens after flood

Owners, volunteers worked Wednesday, Thursday to clear water, debris from building



After the flood on Grand Avenue, the owners of Minh’s Restaurant, Minh and Mindy Lam, and their friends have cleared the building of water and debris. “We battle with the water,” Minh says.

LAUREN ELLENBECKER, Evergreen reporter

Minh Lam slowly walked around his restaurant, pointing at places where water had snuck under the building’s doors and clogged its drains.

He smiled as he spoke about the quick actions that saved Minh’s Restaurant from being ruined by a flood. The flood was caused by a creek flowing into Grand Avenue after heavy rainfall on April 9.

“When people see the water, they run away, but we battle with the water,” Minh said.

Minh said his landlord and a customer in the restaurant immediately began blocking his entrances, so water didn’t leak through. He said he could see the water levels rising through the front glass door.

Mike Boone, Minh’s landlord, whose farm was also affected by the flood, said he was hauling items away from the water that was coming through the doors.

“It’s an act of nature,” Boone said. “It’s too bad when these things happen, but it’s kind of uncontrollable.”

Minh and his friends swept the incoming water into drains located throughout the building as soon as they spotted it, he said, and they used pots to scoop extra water. They were doing this for about four hours, Minh said.

Minh said their hard work is why Minh’s Restaurant was not as affected as other businesses on Grand Avenue.

“You have to try your best to stop something,” Minh said. “If you run away, it will get worse.”

Outside Minh’s Restaurant, drains were plugged by debris and mud as the water continued to flow throughout Grand.

Mindy Lam, Minh’s wife, said she put on her rain boots and cleared as much debris from the drains as she could. The water was so high it was seeping into her boots within minutes, she said.

“I couldn’t walk,” Mindy said. “My toes felt numb.”

She continued to work outside for hours while using buckets to scoop water from the overflowing drains, Mindy said. She was afraid the water would wipe her out.

“I almost fell down [because] the water was too strong,” Mindy said. “I was so tired, I almost had no energy.”

Mindy said she still feels sore from last Tuesday night.

The couple was cleaning their restaurant until 1 a.m.

Minh said customers called their restaurant the following Wednesday and Thursday and asked if everything was okay, as well as offered to help the Lams clean. Some customers didn’t know the flood occurred and tried to order food, he said.

Boone and his family, along with people Boone hired, helped the Lams clean mud and debris from their restaurant on Wednesday and Thursday last week.

A health inspector arrived at Minh’s Restaurant Thursday and approved them to open their business. The Lams reopened their restaurant on Friday.

“Teamwork is what helped us,” Minh said. “Teamwork is powerful.”