Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Harvest Hope Food Bank's location on Shop Road is temporarily shut down after a broken sprinkler spilled thousands of gallons of water in the facility.
Officials with the food bank say an alarm in the building went off Wednesday telling them something was wrong with the water flow. When they checked on the problem, they found about two inches of water in part of the warehouse.
The problem was determined to have been a sprinkler that broke in the freezer area. About 2,000 gallons of water was sent flowing into that room, and the water then spilled out into the warehouse. The amount of water that came out is roughly equivalent to the amount found in an above ground swimming pool.
"There's a lot of clean-up left to do. There's moisture in all of the wooden pallets, which saved a lot of the food, but those pallets the moisture has to be wicked out of it," said Chief Operating Officer, Chris Daly. "The concrete drank a good bit of water, it has to be wicked out of it, so we're going to be running dehumidifiers and fans throughout the weekend."
Harvest Hope says a lot of food was damaged in the freezer and will have to be thrown away. More food may be lost since the facility was unable to accept their normal donations.
"This facility on a busy day receives in around 80,000 pounds of food, so that's an interruption," said Daly. "Some of that food is going to spoil, or not be available for us when we hit the ground running tomorrow."
The evaporator in the ceiling of the freezer was also damaged. The company is now trying to get a total cost assessment of all of the damages.
While the Shop Road facility is closed, people are advised to go to Harvest Hope's 12th Street Facility in Cayce. The Shop Road location will reopen for service on Friday.