Water leak forces hundreds of residents out of Salvation Army building
Published Saturday, September 15, 2018 2:59PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 15, 2018 6:44PM MDT
A serious water issue resulted in officials at Calgary’s Centre of Hope ordering all 340 residents of the building out onto the street early Saturday morning.
At about 6:30 a.m., staff went around the building, telling all of the residents that they would need to leave their rooms after one of the water pipes inside the building sprung a leak.
“We had a leak through one of our water pipes at the Centre of Hope here and it’s caused some significant damage through the main part of our building,” said executive director Karen Livick.
The damage has directly affected 103 client rooms as well as numerous staff rooms, but all of the clients are being kept out of their rooms until the situation can be stabilized.
“At the moment there is no access to residents’ rooms but they are all in common areas.”
Don Slater, one of the men who lives at the building, says he was woken up and had no idea what was going on at first.
“I got up at 5:45 a.m. and I didn’t know if it was a flood or a fire. I came down the stairs and I was going to go down towards the back of the building, towards the library, and they told me to get back and go out the side door.”
Later on, he was told that whatever happened, it happened on the fourth floor.
“They said it was a water main break. Not the main break but the water sprinklers broke.”
Livick says that plans have been made to house the displaced residents and the cause of the leak is under investigation.
The news is a bit of comfort to Slater, but he is still concerned about how life will be long-term at the facility.
“Everybody’s a little edgy because they had to get up, no breakfast, no cigarettes, can’t get a coat, can’t get changed, can’t brush your teeth, can’t do nothing.”
Meanwhile, Livick says that more information about the leak will be known on Monday and that anyone wanting to help out can do so with donations to the Salvation Army.
“Donations to the Salvation Army are always helpful as we expect to be looking at some long term repair and plans for the clients.”
The last time the building evacuated was during the 2013 floods.
(With files from Jordan Kanygin)