Local restaurant works to clean up water damage

By Chad Weber

June 27, 2013 Updated Jan 2, 2014 at 5:34 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- Cleanup mode is the focus at the Burger Barge after water damage forced the restaurant to shut down earlier this week.

"We were battling an unknown situation," said owner Gigi Irwin.

Irwin was left guessing when water continued to seep into her restaurant.

"It was not drying up, we were just constantly shop vaccing and taking it out," she said.

The culprit, it turns out, was a busted pipe. The water line coming into the building had burst due to deterioration over the years.

Combined with heavy rainfall, the waters had nowhere to go.

"The pressure of the water underneath the concrete took the concrete to its weakest cracks and started coming through," said Irwin.

The East Peoria City Works department replaced the pipe on Thursday and crews of the Burger Barge will work night and day to try and restore walls, tiles, and other damaged areas.

Meanwhile, across town work on the new Burger Barge location has stopped. All construction crews were sent back to the original location for restoration work.

Originally the Burger Barge on Meadows Avenue was set to be open on July 4. Now the is the goal to reopen the original location by that date.

"The lost revenue, the repairs," said Irwin, "I'm afraid I wouldn't sleep tonight just trying to put a number on it."

Irwin said the summer months are the busiest, so everyday they remain closed takes a hard hit on the pocketbook.

"We have every intention of trying to survive this but it is very questionable if we are going to be able to withstand the financial burden that we are going through right now," she said.

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