Middleburgh Hardware overcomes flood challenges to mark 125th anniversary

Posted at: 08/23/2013 4:34 PM
Updated at: 08/23/2013 6:15 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

MIDDLEBURGH - Even now the high water mark is taller than five year old Ian Vilegi.

His father showed us where the water came up to inside on the sales counter.

Basically all the inventory below the waterline was lost when tropical storm Irene sent muddy flood water surging through Middleburgh, cutting off the community for several days and causing damage on a scale no one here had previously experienced or expected.

We asked at what point did owner Rich Vilegi have any doubts that they were going to be able to survive. "I actually never thought about it," Vilegi said. "We were back in here pretty much the same day and we had a lot of friends, a lot of people that stopped in and really just started helping out."

Remarkably, despite 190-thousand dollars worth of damage caused by the flood, Vilegi says they never really closed.

During the recovery, business picked up. Everyone needed hardware supplies as much of the community was involved in extensive rebuilding at the same time.

But staying open, meeting customers needs while at the same time working to make their own recovery, was a tall task.

Vilegi says they're still making repairs to the old but sturdy Main Street building.

125 years in operation, with customers like Charles Rodrigues the reason why.

"They know what they're doing," Rodrigues said.