San Diego Made Factory struggles to recover from severe water damage after Jan. 22 flood
Within seconds, some people inside were “up to their necks in water,” owner and founder Brittany Wiczek said.
SAN DIEGO — San Diego Made Factory is a shared creative work space for local artists and small businesses.
The warehouse was flooded last week and now no one can work inside. And like so several San Diego flood victims, they worry about the new storms headed our way.
Owner and founder Brittany Wiczek said their downstairs tenants were flooding slightly on the basement level — but it got worse quickly.
“Then they heard a giant boom and we think something probably hit one of the rollup doors downstairs because there were literally cars floating down the street,” she said. “And that caved in and what caused a majority of the flooding and within seconds they were up to their necks in water.”
Pottery makers, painters, textile artisans and a woodworker who does custom guitars all have a space at San Diego Made Factory.
“To have this little art space where they can have a studio and create something for themselves or for their business in an affordable way with other people who are like them and who are creative minded, that’s really special,” she said.
But now, everything has water damage.
Wiczek says she thought they were well insured with two insurance policies through reputable companies. She says they didn’t have flood insurance because they are not technically in a The Federal Emergency Management Agency zone and so there’s no coverage because this is considered an “Act of God”.
“Total losses are upwards of $100,000 at this point. In rebuilding and replacing property that has been damaged without insurance, it’s going to be an uphill battle,” she said.
Wiczek and three other San Diego women started San Diego Made Factory five years ago, before the pandemic.
“We’ve been through a few really hard years trying to get off the ground and trying to get people to know about it and and we feel like we were just getting out of that when this happened.”
All their hard work to create a perfect creative space was gone in a blink of an eye.
“Everything we spent years and loans and personal money, really everything we have, to building this, is torn up in some way,” Wiczek said.
Volunteers are helping them clean up but now, another storm heads straight toward San Diego County.
Wiczek said she fears the upcoming storm is going to sweep through and destroy all cleanup efforts they’ve made since January 22.
“Having to go through the week we’ve all been through and then face the possibility of it happening all over again, it’s hard,” she said. “I’m probably a lot more concerned with people in the neighborhood who don’t have housing or who are trying to make their homes livable.”
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