Goodwill Warehouse Flooded by Tropical Storm Harvey

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A storm that dumped more than 10 inches of rain on parts of Nashville also sent a foot and a half of rainwater rushing through a main Goodwill warehouse downtown, ruining thousands of large boxes of donated clothing and other goods that were to be sold to benefit the nonprofit organization’s mission.

No one was hurt in the flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey at Goodwill’s Nashville headquarters on Herman Street, because the damage occurred early Friday morning when no employees were present. Stacks of heavy, 4-foot-high cardboard boxes full of donations became wet, softened, toppled and broke open throughout the warehouse.

None of Goodwill’s 36 stores or other facilities were affected, and business continued as usual at those sites across middle and west Tennessee Friday. While Goodwill carries flood insurance for the downtown warehouse and its contents, cleanup is expected to take weeks or even months.

The exact extent of damage to the roughly 8,000 boxes in the warehouse was not yet known, but the loss of donated goods will be massive. Much of Goodwill’s stock of winter coats and other warm clothing and shoes was housed there, and those items were scheduled for delivery to stores this month.

“We recognize that our losses pale in comparison to those suffered by storm victims in Texas and the Gulf Coast, and we encourage everyone to contribute to disaster relief efforts for those areas,” said Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee CEO and President Matthew Bourlakas. “At the same time, we are heartbroken that donations that were generously given to us have been destroyed, and we welcome donations to help us overcome this unfortunate setback.”

Clothing made up about 85 percent of the stored items in the 71,000-square-foot warehouse, while the remainder was hard goods such as home decor, books and electronics.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For 60 years, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. Goodwill’s vision is that all people will have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential through the power of work. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

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