The recovery from flooding caused by Hurricane Irene in Dover continues at Treadway Towers, arguably the hardest hit area of the city.


The recovery from flooding caused by Hurricane Irene in Dover continues at Treadway Towers, arguably the hardest hit area of the city.

The home of the popular Frazier’s on the Water Restaurant & Bar and Colonial Investment  & Management Co., among others, sustained flooding levels of 3 ½ to 4 feet this past weekend thanks to Irene.

On Wednesday, Frazier’s owner Ken Caudill and loyal staff members cleaned up the interior of the structure with bleach and hauled out all of the restaurant’s equipment so they could power wash it.

“Everything in here has to be cleaned,” Caudill said. “All the hardwood floors will have to be replaced. All of the food had to be thrown away."

Caudill even had to throw out much of the liquor, he said.

Caudill and his Frazier's crew have been spending 10 to 15 hours per day at the tavern, formerly known as the Lobby House, since Sunday.

“I have loyal employees that have volunteered their time to help,” Caudill said. “They want to get it up and running too.”

He built this restaurant 13 years ago when he gutted an old, small bar and installed the oak walls and hardwood floors.

“It’s expensive,” Caudill said. “I’m kind of hoping the state will do something. I see in other states getting some kind of funding from the federal government. You never know.”

There was no flood insurance for the building, he added.

But Frazier’s has received a lot of help from the community, including the City of Dover, Colonial and Buckley’s Builders, which does construction work for Colonial.

Buckley Builders President Larry Buckley and foreman Brian Beckman supervised the crew working to repair the building and get it ready for operation again. Their crew cut out damaged drywall and treated the exposed wooden studs with a mildew retardant solution.

They also inspected electrical wires, outlets and switches– with electricians replacing anything that had been under water, Buckley said.

Buckley has been in business since 1974 and he has not seen anything like the damage caused at Treadway by Hurricane Irene. That includes what his crew found in the small church adjacent to Frazier’s, Healing Word Sanctuary.

“We took cabinets out of that back room; there were fish in them,” Buckley said. “The refrigerator was floating in the church’s kitchen. This whole thing was under.”

In addition, the motors in the boiler room near the common area of Treadway Towers had to be removed and cleaned, he said. And the water heater was shot.

Indeed, the flooding was such that a few local residents actually kayaked past Treadway Towers on Sunday.

At this point, everything has to dry out, Buckley said. He believes everything should be dry by Monday.

Back in Frazier’s, Pearce Refrigeration owner Milton Pearce was on the floor behind the bar drying out refrigeration wires with a 1,500-watt electric heat gun, among other things.

“You get the water in there, the water conducts electricity and it’ll keep tripping you,” he said. “You get the water out, they won’t touch anymore.”

Elsewhere in the tavern, Frazier employees Andrea Carter and Lori Foracker were among those scrubbing all the walls and all the floors with bleach.

“Anybody that had driven by or kayaked in our parking lot Sunday knows it was bad for us,” Carter said.

“My husband and I pulled up Sunday and I just got out of the truck and started crying,” Foracker said. “I said, oh my God that’s it.”

But Caudill remains cautiously optimistic that Frazier’s will reopen by next Wednesday.