Lefty’s Grill Starts to Clean Up After Flood, Prepares for Another Round of Rain

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NEVADA CITY -- It was an all-hands-on-deck effort in the kitchen of Lefty's Grill in Nevada City on Monday.

Despite the restaurant being closed, about a dozen employees and volunteers cleaned up the mess that the storm left behind, and the owner says this is only the beginning.

"It's going to be a launch of jobs after Tuesday, basically Wednesday, Thursday a lot of stuff needs to get done,” said co-owner Chris Duncan.

Some parts of the Nevada City and Grass Valley area saw close to seven inches of rain throughout the weekend, bringing Deer Creek beyond its banks, right over the restaurant's lower deck Sunday, forcing managers to close. Duncan says it could've been worse.

"It was probably about two and a half feet lower than the ‘97 flood. It was pretty much up to the door handles in '97,” said Duncan.

During the 1997 flood, water rushed into the restaurant from its first floor parlor area, which this year was covered by sand bags. The defense worked, however, water that flows underneath a wooden walkway leading into the restaurant began to pour in from the opposite side.

"Good group of people. Work really well as a team. Everyone's together on our days off, well not supposed to be a day off,” said Andrew Christiansen, a busser at Lefty’s. He came in Monday, even though the place is closed, to help out.

Managers say since Sunday night about half of their 50 employees have showed up to remove water and help get the place back to normal.

And then there were those like Randy Artegiani, who isn’t on the payroll, but who feels attached to the restaurant.

"When my son comes up, we always come here for dinner. When I saw it on the news, I'd be here to help. I showed up, oh, 8:30,” said Artegiani.

Still, all the good will may not be enough to re-open this restaurant any time soon.

"Tomorrow is the deal breaker,” said Duncan.

With around five inches of rain expected in the area in the next couple of days, the crew will have to quite literally weather the storm once more.

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