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Goshen Kroger opening its doors for the first time since February flooding

GOSHEN, Ind. -- For the first time since the area’s record flooding in February, the Kroger store in Goshen is now opening its doors.

The reopening comes after more than $6 million dollars were spent on renovations due to flood damage.

A customer said she’s been coming to the Goshen Kroger for the last 46 years and is ecstatic that it’s back open.

The images of the flooding are a reminder of a darker time.

A time people didn’t know what the future would hold.

“We ended up with about a foot of water across the entire store,” said Charles Neuwirth, the Goshen Kroger’s Store Manager. “So, the foot of water in the grocery store; water and groceries don’t mix. Don’t mix very well at all.”

But Wednesday afternoon it was sunny.

Light, serving as a reminder that things do get better.

“This is the kind of things you see on the news that happens in other places, not here [in Goshen],” said Sonia Green, who has been shopping at the Goshen Kroger for the last 20 years.

Wednesday morning, Kroger was able to open up its doors again after being closed since February.

Locals are happy with its reopening, maybe because it brings them a sense of familiarity.

“I’m excited,” said Goshen resident Elsie Kauffman.

“She’s very excited,” said her daughter, Sonia Green. “I’m happy that we have a place she’s comfortable and familiar with and knows that we know our way around it. It’s not that much different.”

Customers like Elsie and Sonya were happy Wednesday afternoon.

They, like other customers, were able to come back to a store that was a staple of their community.

One might even argue a place where known faces were constantly seen.

“They welcomed us,” said Neuwirth of the customers. “When we opened our doors just a few hours ago, the hugs and the pats on the back and the handshakes and the ‘welcome back’ that happened on both sides. From customers to associates and associates to customers was incredible. It really was a tear jerker.”

After all, many of the customers in Goshen were traveling to other Kroger locations like Elkhart, South Bend, and Mishawaka.

Kauffman said she’s just glad to be back at the Goshen Kroger.

“There are certain things I like to buy here, and it’s convenient, and I’m just happy to be here,” said Kauffman.

Convenience for some, but maybe more than that, a step forward toward normalcy.

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