Flash flood was second to gut beauty school

Bad news for Empire Beauty School on Moores Lane! The following article was first published on tennessean.com.

"When Thomas Mansell got the call Thursday that Empire Beauty School on Moores Lane was flooded, he thought it was a joke.

No, really. Again? Yes, again.

Mansell, Empire’s director of project development, hopped on a plane in Pennsylvania and got to Franklin at 3:30 a.m. He estimates the damage to the school on Moores Lane to be $300,000. The downstairs salon, offices and conference room were ruined.

The school, which has been in this location for just two years, has flooded both years: first during the May flood in 2010 and then Thursday as 60 students, 12 customers and eight staff members scurried to move cars, shut off electricity and eventually get across Moores Lane to safety at Barnes & Noble. The flash flood swept up a car and shoved it through Empire’s wall Thursday. Five other cars were swamped in the parking lot.

City engineers from Franklin and Brentwood said flash flooding caused by a brief but intense downpour Thursday afternoon was simply a case of too much rain too quickly. Local drainage systems, including ditches, swales and a tunnel system underneath the Cool Springs Galleria mall, aren’t designed to manage the sudden deluge some areas received.

Cleaning up
Mansell expects that the repairs and reopening of the beauty school will take a minimum of 12 weeks.

Business, however, will go on as usual. A new class of 22 students will start Monday at the school’s annex across Moores Lane at Moores Crossing.

"We’ve got to go forward," said Executive Director Angela Wisdom, who’s been at the school since January. "Attitude’s everything."

She and her husband moved here from Florida, where she saw her share of hurricanes. "This is worse than a hurricane," she said. "There’s no time to prepare."

Her company, Empire Education Group based in Pottsville, Pa., has 102 cosmetology schools in 22 states. Wisdom couldn’t say enough about its quick response. "They had ServPro in here by 6 p.m. and were calling me up until 11 p.m. making sure we were OK," she said."