2,000 Gallons of Water Falls Inside Harvest Hope Warehouse

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By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Just outside the Harvest Hope Food Bank on Shop Road, a sign that says, "This pantry is closed."

Thursday marked the second day the Emergency Pantry was forced to shut down, because of water damage inside.

Around 5 o'clock Wednesday morning, we're told a sprinkler head broke and dumped two-thousand gallons of water on food below.

"Imagine a small, above ground swimming pool. That's about 2,000 gallons worth of water," Skot Garrick, Harvest Hope Spokesperson

For nearly two hours, water "rained upon" the food, damaging $9,000 worth. In monetary terms that equals to 45,000 meals.

Garrick says they credit Richland County Emergency Services for getting there and shutting the water off before further damage was done.

Thursday afternoon dryers were still out on the warehouse floor.

"It flooded our freezer, it flooded our warehouse with about two inches worth of water," says Garrick.

Crews worked all day Wednesday to clean up the mess, but the work isn't over. Garrick says the dryers will be here through the weekend.

Over the past couple of days, those in need were sent to Harvest Hope's Cayce pantry where we found several volunteers gathering food for those in need.

Given the circumstances, there aren't too many families that seem to be affected. In fact, we're told attendance at both locations has been down this week, possibly because of the snow.

Harvest Hope is looking into what may have caused the sprinkler head to malfunction, but we're told it is an aging system in an aging building.

The Shop Road Emergency Pantry is expected to re-open tomorrow.

If you would like to help Harvest Hope in this time of need, visit harvesthope.org for more information.

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