Open for Business: Flower shop lost sales when Family Dollar roof collapsed

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Calumet Floral and Gifts owner Amy Knight said her business has been open since March 12, after it was temporarily closed when the roof of the Family Dollar building next door partially collapsed because of excess snow. Business has been slow since, because the public is unaware it has re-opened.

CALUMET — Calumet Floral and Gifts on Fifth Street has been open for business since the middle of March, after the building was temporarily evacuated as a result of the Family Dollar building’s collapse next door on March 7.

“When the Family Dollar roof collapsed,” said Amy Knight, owner of Calumet Floral, “our business was evacuated for three days. Our employees lost work hours, and our tenants were displaced.”

The street in front of the building was also closed to traffic for over a week while village crews removed building debris and shattered glass from the large windows of the Family Dollar building.

The incident which has had a negative impact on business.

“We called in a structural engineer from U.P. Engineering,” Knight said, “because we were experiencing some signs of pressure in our upper floors.”

The engineering consultant used a drone to assess the tops of both buildings, as well as the walls between them, Knight said. The drone revealed that the north wall of the Family Dollar building was touching the south wall of the floral building, but the two walls were not connected structurally. Once that was confirmed, she said, her business was allowed to re-open, and the tenants were allowed to re-occupy their apartments.

Knight said when Family Dollar was operating at their Fifth Street location, Calumet Floral and Gifts had a great relationship with the chain giant.

“John Gladney, Family Dollar district manager, was very concerned for our safety,” said Knight. “He told me that he had filed a work request to have the snow removed several weeks before the building collapsed. However, his corporate bosses did not approve his request.”

Gladney was unable to be reached for comment.

“Trying to deal with the higher levels of the corporation has been very frustrating,” Knight added. “We feel that they have very little concern for the impact that their choices have on our community.”