Sign leads to flood at Simon Gallery

A signpost on Main Street in Vineyard Haven led to unintended consequences last week for Peter and Ronni Simon, owners of the Simon Gallery at 54 Main Street.

When the first of two rainstorms struck on Tuesday, July 24, the gallery flooded. Karpet Care responded quickly with a wet vacuum and removed about an inch of water, Mr. Simon said. When a second storm later in the day caused some additional flooding, Mr. Simon said he and property manager Stephen “Lens” Blodgett thought it might be due to a failed sump pump in the building, which is owned by Larry Levine of Las Vegas.

Mr. Blodgett called a plumber after he checked the sump pump and found it was working. Mr. Simon said when the plumber snaked the building’s drainage pipe, he discovered it was blocked by a signpost the town installed on the sidewalk above it. The plumber flagged down a Tisbury department of public works (DPW) crew that happened to be driving by and they pulled the sign out. Mr. Simon said that took care of the problem, because the gallery did not flood again during another rainstorm Saturday.

On Monday morning Mr. Simon told The Times in a phone call he was pleased to see that a DPW crew had already arrived to repair the pipe and sidewalk where the sign was removed.

“Now we’re trying to determine whether the carpet will have to be replaced,” Mr. Simon said. “The town was very good about it and said they would take responsibility.”