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Broken water line clears staff and residents from New Hope Centre

Gordie Warden, of Archie Johnstone Plumbing and Heating, jack-hammers the concrete floor of the Salvation Army New Hope Centre foyer to find a break in a water supply line that flooded the building and forced residents and staff to evacuate Friday. - Chris Bush photo
Gordie Warden, of Archie Johnstone Plumbing and Heating, jack-hammers the concrete floor of the Salvation Army New Hope Centre foyer to find a break in a water supply line that flooded the building and forced residents and staff to evacuate Friday.
— image credit: Chris Bush photo

A broken water line shattered the daily routine at the Salvation Army New Hope Centre in downtown Nanaimo.

The line broke under the concrete floor of the residential section of the building at 19 Nicol St. at about 3 a.m. Friday, forcing the evacuation of about 25 residents who were given temporary shelter at the Salvation Army Church gymnasium on Eighth Street.

Rob Anderson, director of ministries, said water flooded the lower floors of the centre to about six centimetres deep.

“It overflowed, went down the stairwell and into the basement,” Anderson said.

Restoration workers mopped up water from the centre’s dining room, kitchen and food and supplies storage areas while plumbers jack-hammered up the concrete floor of the New Hope Centre foyer to track down the leak.

Anderson said he hoped to have residents back in the building by the end of the day.

“It just depends on how long it takes them to fix the water line,” he said.

Envoy Dawne Anderson said the centre’s dining room and kitchen were closed and the meals program cancelled for the day.

This is the second time the building has suffered flood damage.

Ennis Monde, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer, said firefighters attended the building May 13, 2010, when the structure flooded under similar circumstances.

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