A community is coming together to help clean up after two gyms were caught in the path of flash flooding in Azle Monday night.
When water started to flow into Genesis Jiu-Jitsu Monday, members and instructors initially thought it was their bathroom overflowing. They quickly determined that was not the case, as an estimated two feet of water rose in their gym along with High Ground Fitness next door.
A creek runs behind both gyms located on Farm to Market Road 730 South. Karen Banes, the owner of Genesis Jiu-Jitsu, said they would likely be closed for at least a week in order to rebuild and repair.
“When something like this happens, it’s so nauseating,” Banes said. “Both of the buildings looked like they were a part of the creek. Water was just gushing all around both buildings, in between the buildings. It was so strong there were logs floating right in front of our facility.”
Dozens of members helped with the restoration process Tuesday, which included removing all of the carpet, mats and insulation. A significant amount of mud covered most of the gym after the water receded, Banes said.
“It looked like almost a fresh pallet of snow laid down. Before you even walk on the snow, it was like icing on a cake but all mud,” she said. “As soon as you walked, it was just slimy and a mess everywhere.”
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Banes’ husband Scott, a co-owner, said they would also have to check for any damages to the foundation. They expect to work with consultants over the next few days, he said.
“The water came up at about walking speed. I mean, it was covering ground, and it left pretty quickly also. That’s why I think a lot of people didn’t realize how bad it got here, because it was a flash flood, exactly what it was,” he said. “Driving by the next day if you were just on the road, you would have never have any idea this place was completely underwater.”
Once the space is determined safe enough to practice in again, Banes said their immediate goal is to get it cleaned and welcome their athletes back.
“We just got to get it back to that standard and what they’re used to. I know we’ll get there,” she said.
The gym had been preparing for a kids’ camp next week, and Banes said they’re working on a goal of being able to still host it.