What seemed like a few water puddles and some soggy carpet after the torrential rainstorm the evening of July 29 has developed into an issue with a larger effect for residents, staff, and owners of Peabody Care Center. The assisted living apartments on the lower level took the brunt of the damage.
“When the storm hit, the rain was falling so hard it pushed its way into the building through the entry doors on the lower level,” administrator Melissa Parmley said. “All the concrete surfaces outside of that area of the facility didn’t help matters. The water couldn’t be absorbed into the ground and the force of the wind just kept blowing it inside instead.”
Parmley said nine apartments, a therapy massage room, laundry room, game room, maintenance room, records room, and chapel were damaged, as well as entry and hallway areas.
The housekeeping and maintenance staff initially mopped up most of the water and residents were moved to other apartments and rooms while the cleanup took place.
Deseret Health Group, owner of Peabody Care Center, sent a regional maintenance director to assess the damage and hired a Hutchinson-based cleaning and restoration company to begin a thorough cleanup.
“Lamunyon Cleaning and Restoration arrived a day after the water flooded the apartments,” Parmley said. “They had special meters to determine how much moisture remained in the floors and behind the walls and built-ins. They had other instruments to measure humidity.
‘Even though our maintenance and housekeeping people did a good job mopping up, we had no idea there was so much unseen damage,” she said. “It was a dangerous environment.
“Lamunyon had instruments they called air scrubbers to pull mold spores from the air and trap them. They cut the sheetrock from the walls at heights from 24 inches to 48 inches,” she said. “There was dampness and mold beginning to form back there. The whole area was power washed and dried out. It is now quarantined until the repair work begins. Eventually we will have new floors, ceilings, walls, built-ins, carpet, and wall paper or paint in that area.”
Parlmely said the cleaning and restoration crew finished their work and moved their equipment out on Aug. 7.
Last week the facility’s insurance company sent an adjuster to review the damage, but Parmley said it was too early to tell what the repair costs would be. She said a contractor had been contacted to oversee repair work.
“I think we all were a little surprised at the amount of damage a storm like that can do,” she said. “We will be getting some engineering advice to develop a water diversion plan for the northwest corner of the building. That is a priority now. No one wants to go through this again.”
Although routines were disrupted for residents and staff as everyone adjusted to new living quarters, Parmley said there were few serious complaints and everyone pulled together to make the best of a bad situation.