More than $300,000 damage done to Courtland Dairy Queen

Published 1:14 pm Monday, September 12, 2011

COURTLAND—The Dairy Queen on Highway 58, Courtland, which had more than $300,000 in damage from Hurricane Irene, is expected to reopen by the end of October, said Mitch Sandlin, chief executive officer of Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen.

Based in Franklin and in charge of 13 other Dairy Queens in Hampton Roads, Mid-Atlantic also will update the 72-seat restaurant so it looks more like Franklin’s on Armory Drive.

“We knew it needed to be done. It was probably two years off,” Sandlin said. “When it reopens, it will have a new look.”

Insurance will cover the loss, while the restaurant’s 30 part- and full-time employees will remain on payroll during construction, Sandlin said.

“I’m just thankful we have good insurance and our employees can be paid,” he said.

The damage from Irene’s 12 inches of rain and wind gusts of up to 59 mph on Aug. 27 caused the Dairy Queen’s roof drains to clog. Two exhaust fan covers also blew off, Sandlin said.

“The water built up on the roof and found its way through the air-conditioning ducts and other ducts,” he said.

Four inches of water covered the floor.

“And when we started opening it up — we cut a hole in the wall — water poured out,” he said.

All the interior walls will be replaced.

Sandlin’s not sure what equipment the water damaged.

“We don’t know yet,” he said.

The Dairy Queen was not open for business on the day of the hurricane, when power was also lost. All of the food in the walk-in cooler was lost.

Had the Dairy Queen been open, Sandlin doesn’t believe it would’ve made a difference.

“I think the water didn’t build up until the last big rain we had (overnight Saturday),” he said.

Once it reopens, the Dairy Queen will operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.