Extreme weather busts water pipe in Sioux Falls shelter; $100,000+ in damage reported
An extended blast of winter weather this month resulted in problems across South Dakota, including water damage at a Sioux Falls shelter.
Around 11 p.m. the day after Christmas, a pipe burst leading to an estimated $100,000 in damage at Union Gospel Mission.
Elly Heckel, Union Gospel communications director, said the damages are extensive.
“We heard a big noise and then the alarms went off, and then water just started rushing from the women’s center," Heckel said. "A third of the shelter got completely damaged – like 48 beds. We had to move our residents temporarily to the St. Francis House until we can get the shelter back open. Then it went from the women’s center to the thrift store and completely ruined our thrift store.”
The mission’s thrift store and women’s center will be closed for a minimum of two weeks, possibly as long as five.
Union Gospel set a fundraising goal of $100,000 in the wake of the damage, but Heckel said they need more than just money.
“Volunteering the next two to three weeks is going to be crucial because we don’t want things to get moldy," Heckel said. "We’re basically just starting from scratch. Our entire thrift store, our entire distribution center, and our women’s center we’re taking out all the old stuff that got ruined from the water damage and replacing it.”
Other items the mission needs include mattresses, bedding, linens, towels, clothing, and toys.
People interested in donating can find a support tab on the Union Gospel Mission website.