Nfld. & Labrador

Easter Seals still struggling after major flood, hoping to raise $50K

Flooding in Easter Seals' building on Mount Scio road came right at the start of the busy season, and the organization says it's still reeling.

Plumbing costs, loss of revenue from program shut-downs of particular concern

Easter Seals is hoping to raise $50,000 after a flood damaged its building in St. John's in early July. (Submitted by Samantha Parrell)

Easter Seals is making a plea for public donations after a devastating flood in its St. John's building brought its programs and operations to a temporary halt in early July.

The organization's building on Mount Scio Road is still under repair, and while the 20 programs and services it offers for people with disabilities have largely been set up in temporary locations, and there are costs to cover and lost revenue to make up for, said Mark Bradbury, the organization's chief executive officer.

He figures it all adds up to about $50,000, and that's what Easter Seals is hoping to raise.

"The community could really help us out right now," he said. "We'll do our very best to try to raise that money and if we don't, something will have to give."

On the weekend of July 6-7, a pipe burst during the night in the women's washroom quickly spread through the hallway to the music room, computer room and multipurpose room, as well as some offices and the gym.

"I was in shock to see how much damage was done," Bradbury said.

Of the building's 14,000 square feet of floor, he estimates about 10,000 feet have now been torn up to be replaced. He says it will be about three months before all the work is done.

"No one can be there anymore. There's not even a washroom," he said.

The organization says repairs could take up to three months. (Submitted by Samantha Parrell)

All of Easter Seals' programs immediately came to a halt as the organization scrambled to find a new place from which to operate. 

After about a week, its day camp was moved to Macdonald Drive Junior High. Stella's Circle offered up a classroom space for the Easter Seals Horizons career services program and the organization's remaining administrative staff have set up shop in a building on Kelsey Drive.

The flood began with a plumbing problem in the women's washroom. (Submitted by Samantha Parrell)

That week of missed revenue from its programs, especially its day camp, which has about 50 campers, will sting, Bradbury said. His team also had to cancel a number of fundraising events, he said. 

Easter Seals has insurance to cover some of the equipment damage and the rental costs for the temporary locations, but there are immediate costs for the plumbing repairs which are still being assessed.

"This incident could not have come at a more difficult time for the participants and families of Easter Seals NL who live with a wide range of physical, sensory, cognitive and other disabilities," said the release.

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