Water, Water Everywhere
When it rains, it pours. But when it sprinkles . . . well, it’s a mess!
On Tuesday, October 26, at 4:16 a.m., the fire alarm sounded, startling staff, disturbing Residents, and waking Sisters, who bolted out of their beds and scurried to attend to the alarm, ruining their shoes in the streams, puddles, and pools of water, some rusty brown, all swelling by the minute.
A sprinkler head had burst on the third floor in an office hallway, setting off other sprinklers and spraying water throughout key areas of St. Mary’s Home.
The Sisters immediately called the fire department, which cut off the water supply.
But not soon enough.
Fortunately, no Resident area was affected, but considerable damage was done nonetheless. Numerous ceiling tiles fell on floors and in hallways, which were covered in pools or carrying streams of water. Many other ceiling tiles still remain overhead, broken, wet, and now brown.
The lower floors of the building suffered significant flooding, as the water worked its way downward. Carpets were soaked. Walls were streaked by rivulets of water. Several offices spaces, computers, bookcases, manuals, files, and furniture were damaged. The entrance to the dining area was especially hard hit, forcing residents to eat all their meals in the auditorium during the day.
The entire rhythm of the day was thrown off for both Residents and staff. Nothing was routine on this Tuesday.
But together, as a family, everyone at St. Mary’s Home pulled together to manage the disruption and inconvenience.
Thankfully, no one was injured.
All told, the repairs could run into the tens of thousands of dollars. We are still assessing the cause and extent of the damage.
Clean up has begun. Countless towels, blankets, and work rags are sopping up the pools of water, large wet/dry vacuums are sucking up moisture, and industrial-sized fans are whirring and blowing to dry out rooms, hallways, and carpets. The replacement of ruined ceiling and floor tiles and of spoiled drywall awaits us.
This disaster made the local evening news on Tuesday. And by Wednesday, many concerned individuals were calling St. Mary’s Home to offer financial assistance, which we still greatly need and welcome, especially as we face remediation and restoration.
As we continue to dry out and clean up and repair, we are encouraged and inspired by our benefactors, caring and generous friends to the elderly.