In May, the 140,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops at Opry Mills shopping center in Nashville, Tenn., closed after the store, the neighboring mall and surrounding service roads saw two feet of floodwater pour into the area. Before the waters receded, affected areas of the store would have to be accessed by boat in order to determine the extent of damage.

Paul Davis National, the large loss specialists for Paul Davis Restoration, received the initial emergency call on Sunday, May 1. On May 3, more than 95 restoration, emergency services, and structural clean-up workers and technicians arrived at the job site with five tractor trailers and hundreds of pieces of equipment to mitigate the flood damage. Desiccant dehumidifiers, air movers, generators and highly-specialized drying and contents processing equipment also arrived and were stored in trucks onsite.

“We were the first restoration company in the vicinity to be onsite immediately and ready with full access to our own power, heavy equipment and skilled labor,” Paul Davis National co-owner Howland “Howdy” Russell said. “We placed orders for items such as fuel, propane, food, and portable toilets before the water had receded. This gave us time to concentrate on the job and when we could access the building without worrying about logistics and procurement,” said Russell.

As soon as they were able, Bass Pro Shops’ managers took Paul Davis staff on a boat ride to the store to get a look at the damage. The loss was evaluated almost 24 hours before the floodwaters had receded enough for the team to access the store by land.

“As soon as we could begin work, our staff arrived and began site stabilization. We began drying the interior of the building and made special arrangements for contents processing of some very unique fixtures such as faux trees, taxidermy and elaborate displays along with high-end pieces of merchandise and soft goods,” Russell said.

Staff was onsite around the clock, working off of diesel generators due to continuing problems with the area’s power outages and surges. “It was a challenging project. The building was severely damaged, plus we had to contain and control the microbial growth right away,” Russell said. “We worked hard to establish a healthy and safe environment for the building’s ongoing use as a public area.”

The company worked closely with the general contractor responsible for rebuilding the store once the restoration was completed. The GC remained on the job from the beginning of the project to evaluate materials used by the restoration company. Materials were catalogued upon removal for replacement purposes. Paul Davis personnel worked with the construction contractor to establish the limits of demolition and the reconstruction needs; specifically, the contractors had to address highly specialized displays, fixtures, wall installations and other unique features of the store for restoration and replacement.

Having anticipated a “Category 3” water loss with blackwater that was grossly contaminated and contained pathogenic disease-causing agents and sewage, Paul Davis National co-owner J. Murphy and his team met with onsite security and established a protocol for employees to enter the property as soon as conditions were safe.

“We had an excellent crew of experienced mitigation professionals along with an onsite office, and management staff who assembled job records for review at anytime by anyone with an interest,” Murphy said. Additionally, extensive coordination was organized between the restoration company and Bass Pro Shops’ personnel with daily sign-off of work completed, along with thorough record keeping and clear direction from the customer.

“Not only is Bass Pro Shops one of the largest anchor stores at the center, it is also one of the most visible stores, with the most complex cleaning issues including interior trees and rough lumber,” Jon Hallmark, Paul Davis National’s senior project manager, said. “We had the rebuild contractors ready to reconstruct in about 12 days, and approximately five of those days included waiting for the salvage company to auction off and move contents. “No matter how fast we worked and completed the job, the store could not open until all common areas of the shopping center were ready to open for business,” Hallmark said. “But we were proud of our performance and results, and our customer was pleased with the work.”