Printer also predicts floods

Published 7:59 am Wednesday, June 22, 2005

By By LYDIA GRIMES-Features writer
Now this may sound a little strange, but Brewton has its own flood forecaster. It's not a gauge posted at the creeks and its not coming from a weather man in Mobile. It's just a five gallon bucket in the hands of Hugo Moye. Moye has a yellow, five-gallon bucket that he uses to predict if downtown Brewton will flood, and it has been right every time. Well, almost every time.
He laughingly says that he wishes everyone wouldn't put that kind of pressure on him.
Moye said his bucket is the same bucket he uses to hold his water when he washes his car. It's nothing special. He does use other factors when he is making his predictions. He listens to the weather, watches the radar and knows the water sheds. The rain that falls run off in other directions. He figures the only rain we have to worry about is that that falls a few miles north of Evergreen and 20 miles to either side of Evergreen.
Moye is probably as much an expert on downtown Brewton as anyone else. He has been in business since 1967 at the same location, but not the same building. Moye was working for a wholesale distributing business and he bought the printing business for his wife, Mary. He began working part-time with printing and after about five years he quit working for the wholesale business and starting working with the printing end of the office supply that has been run by the family all these years. Today, that includes his wife, Mary, and his daughters, Sharon and Vickie. He also has a grandson, Christopher, who has opted not to go into the business, but is a policeman in Mobile.
Moye's has seen its hard times. It has suffered through floods, fire and even an explosion. But each time it has made a comeback.
In 1975 the business suffered its first flood. They moved things up higher in the store and took some things out because they didn't have any flood insurance. The water got up about 30 inches in the store and after it went down, they moved back in.
Moye said that the explosion took out several buildings including White's, Salter Floor Covering, Eli's Cafe and the Garrett building, and messed up a couple of others including his own.
Moye lost his building but was able to salvage a lot of the things that were in it. The explosion caused a fire that had to be extinguished and everyone worked together.
Moye's suffered through the floods of 1990 and 1998. In 2001, an apparent electrical shortage caused a fire. Mrs. Moye went to the back of the building, opened a door and was met by a fireball. The back of the building was damaged pretty badly, but the front was not too bad. Moye credits the fire department with venting the smoke away from the front of the building. Within a couple of weeks they were up and running again.
Hugo Moye was born in Moyeville and grew up around Pollard. He went to work for J.W. Luker Wholesale Distributors in 1953 at the age of 16. He was married May 22, 1958, and had two daughters who attended T.R. Miller High School. They have both gone into the business with their parents.
These days, Moye is at the store part of the time and when he can he loves to slip off and go fishing. Maybe it's time to get a little fishing in after surviving floods, fires and explosions.

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