Staff and clients are making big adjustments this week after the Salvation Army’s community services building on Borland Street suffered a flood in the basement.
“We got here Tuesday morning and the water was everywhere” said Sabrina Silvey, the SA’s food bank co-ordinator. “The water was up to our ankles. It took nine hours to get the water out.”
When temperatures in Williams Lake dipped to the minus 20s last week, a pipe in the ceiling that takes water to the ground froze.
Then when it began warming the frozen pipe burst and released the water.
As she pointed chunks of drywall on the floor and furniture piled in stacks throughout the basement, Silvey said the construction company they’ve hired to renovate estimated it will be at least two months before the basement is usable again.
“We lost computers and all of the furniture will have to be thrown out because it was water logged.”
While the upstairs is dedicated to the food bank and the soup kitchen, the lower level normally houses the drop-in centre, which is always very busy, an exercise room, a big area for doing arts and crafts, and some counselling offices.
“That’s why we’re up here in the soup kitchen,” Kirsten Stark from the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy said Friday afternoon. “We are having an impromptu Christmas Card making craft session because we cannot be downstairs.”
Shaking her head, Ester Hill said most of the craft supplies were ruined in the flood.
While the flood was pretty devastating and came at a time when the Salvation Army is already busy with its Christmas campaign, there was at least one blessing.
“Normally we have all the toys down here getting them ready for Christmas, but all that was across the street in the our other building,” Silvey said.
The Salvation Army owns the building and also had flood insurance, she added.