The countdown is on for when the doors to Taree Aquatic Club (Sailo's) reopen to the public.
The club is set to reopen in the coming days after it suffered significant damage in last month's floods.
While indications suggest water didn't rise as high as the infamous 1978 flood, an estimated $300,000 to $500,000 in damage was caused.
The extreme river peak of the flood water on March 19 and 20 meant there was no chance the club, which is situated on the banks of the Manning River near Queen Elizabeth Park, would be spared.
The sailing club's boats were later salvaged from underneath the building, albeit water-logged and covered in mud.
Friday March 19 was 'just another night', according to club manager Barry Murray.
"Water was rising but I asked around and people said 'no it won't get that high'," Barry said.
"By the end of the night the damage had been done. Flood water went right through our club, about two feet and destroyed most stuff."
With virtually nothing left in the club to salvage, Barry said the recovery process was "like rebuilding the club again and starting from scratch."
Barry said the club wasn't insured for flood damage.
"Companies won't quote on that because of our location," Barry said.
We had a few dollars in the bank and we were going to use it on other stuff but we reevaluated and we'll spend the money on getting us back up and running.- Barry Murray
"We had a few dollars in the bank and we were going to use it on other stuff but we reevaluated and we'll spend the money on getting us back up and running."
Barry kept a close eye on the Service NSW website for any financial assistance opportunities.
He welcomed the latest State government scheme, which grants flood affected small businesses up to $50,000.
"We think it's worthwhile," Barry said.
Service NSW staff guided the club committee through the funding application process.
"They couldn't have been more helpful getting the application done," Barry said.
He said once applications are approved, funds are available within five days.
Tradesmen have worked around the clock to get the club ready to welcome patrons again.
A major problem for the club was electrical cabling, Barry explained. Given the height of the club over the Manning River, the power source lies underneath.
Damaged carpet was removed and replaced during the cleanup.
Fridges, freezers and computers will need to be replaced before the club reopens.
Barry left Wingham Services Club where he was secretary-manager in 2019 to take the manager's position at Sailo's.
"I've been at the club for two years, struck covid, and then a year later I struck the floods.
"I don't think it was in my contract but I've worked through it," he smiled.
During the time off, the club's chefs created a new menu for customers to enjoy when the doors reopen.
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