A non-profit social service agency in Langley is facing a $50,000 bill after this month’s floods dealt a heavy blow to their headquarters near the Nicomekl River.
Langley Community Services Society operates out of several buildings in the 5300 block of 207th Street, backing onto the floodplain. For years the society has worked with refugees and new immigrants, families facing domestic violence, and youths at risk.
When the first in a series of major rainstorms hit and raised water levels to historic highs on Nov. 14, 15, and 16, the lower levels of several of the buildings were flooded out. The parking lot and road in front of the buildings were completely submerged.
LCSS executive director Sanjeev Nand said there was a significant amount of damage.
“All of our buildings had water infiltration,” he said.
That includes the main building, which houses the bulk of the offices and meeting rooms for the LCSS, as well as the portables nearby, and a heritage house. The heritage home is the only building with a basement, which was used for storage.
The LCSS had to shut down offering services for several days and has brought in remediation companies. Workers are back in the buildings as of the end of November, and most services are up and running again, but there is still a lot of clean up to do, Nand said.
Despite being built so close to the floodplain, the offices have never seen this level of water, he said. Even on Tuesday, Nov. 30 pumps were still running in the basement of the heritage home, to keep the water level down to a few inches.
Ventilation ducts have to be cleaned out from sediment, a furnace and several air conditioning units were destroyed, cladding on one portable was simply ripped away by the floodwaters, environmental checks have to be done for contaminants potentially washed in with the flood waters, and debris has to be cleaned off the playground equipment behind the center.
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The worst damage was done in the basement of the heritage home, which had four feet of water in it, Nand said.
Stored items ranging from files to Christmas decorations to puppets used in children’s therapy were destroyed.
The damage means the LCSS has to rely on its insurance, but there’s a $50,000 deductible for a claim of this size.
“Coming up with $50,000 is a lot of money,” Nand said.
The LCSS is asking for the community’s help, and plans to set up a GoFundMe page in the near future to help raise the money, said Nand. Anyone who can help can reach out at lcss.ca.
If the society raises more than $50,000, Nand said any excess will be put back into the community through programs for people who need them.
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