It's been nearly a month, but businesses forced to close when a broken water main flooded a commercial district in northwest Edmonton are slowly beginning to return.

Jacquie Aanen vividly recalls the scene outside Hair Classique, her salon on 124th Street NW near 108 Avenue NW, after the water main broke on Feb. 15.

"I looked out of my window where I live upstairs from here and I saw a lake for as far as the eye could see," Aanen recalled.

But Aanen was lucky. She was able to keep her store open after a long morning of drying her shop out with a blow dryer.

"Once the level was at a level where we could manage — where it wasn't coming back in — I just continued on the floor, put the furniture up and blew-dried everything, and I mean blew dried everything."

Most along the neighbouring stretch of 124th Street fared worse, with numerous businesses forced to shut down for renovations.

Colonel Mustard's Canteen is expecting to remain closed for some time yet.

"We are dealing now with not just flood damage but extensive structural damage, very extensive," said owner Carla Pipella.

The news was better at the Tiramisu Bistro, which reopened Friday night.

"Three weeks of working day and night, but yeah, very nice to reopen," said owner Seble Amelga.

Despite the setback for area businesses, shop owners are starting to see positive change on the block.

"I've been watching 124th Street for a lot of year and I have always wanted to own a store on 124th Street," said Pernille Tjelum, owner of Bikram Yoga. "And it has been really nice over the last couple of years to see it moving further north, the revitalization."