‘We raise everything up when it floods’: South Carolina pizzeria stays open under 1 foot of water during Hurricane Idalia

News & Politics

A pizzeria in South Carolina has stayed open during floods caused by a hurricane in order to serve emergency service members.

Pizzeria di Giovanni, which is run by Giovanni himself, has absorbed the effects of Idalia in order to keep making pizzas, ABC News 4 reported.

The Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant is reportedly the only eatery open for miles, as Giovanni has been the only business owner to go against local weather advisory warnings.

The pizza maker told a local outlet that no storm has caused him to recoil in the past 18 years. He noted that it has always been worth the risk.

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“I am the only one out here,” Giovanni said. “Everyone else gives up.”

The water appeared not to be a deterrent for Giovanni either, despite the area surrounding his restaurant being a flood zone.

“The rain comes down, the wind starting to blow, this is usually the common place where tourists hang out,” said local reporter Scott Eisberg.

“If you look through that entire market … there are no vendors. It is all shut down as people adhere to the warnings to stay inside,” he continued. “This area right here will flood, there is no question about it. Between the tides and the rain, we are a low-lying city. It’s already going to start now, and it will get higher as the night goes.”

Unfazed, the restauranteur showed no signs of slowing down in the face of the floods and simply heightened his kitchen equipment when water came in.

“We stay till midnight,” he said. “We may get a foot of water or so in here. But we raise everything up when it floods.”

The owner even explained that if the lights go out, the restaurant has emergency lighting, and if need be, he will go to a nearby area behind other local businesses where there is high ground.

The main customer base in these situations tends to be emergency service members such as police officers and rescue workers.

“We are here,” Giovanni said. “We are fightin’ the water and feeding the people.”

When asked what topping goes best with a hurricane pizza, the business owner said, “Beer.”

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