Heavy West Ashley rain soak nonprofit Teachers’ Supply Closet, businesses
Lowcountry teachers from 35 high-poverty schools are supposed to start picking up free supplies for their classrooms in less than a month, and that’s still the goal of the Teachers’ Supply Closet.
West Ashley and Daniel Island were among the hardest hit areas in the deluges that drenched the Lowcountry earlier this week, according to the National Weather Service.
Parts of the two regions got 7.5 inches of rain in the 24 hours that ended at 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Weather Service. Over a longer period of time, about 10 inches of rain were unofficially reported in West Ashley from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday to 8 a.m. Thursday, according to the Weather Service.
During that same time period, Charleston’s Waterfront Park got 5.40 inches, 6.92 inches inches fell at the College of Charleston a little farther inland, and Mount Pleasant got 13.46 inches of rain.
There’s no way to know if those are records for that period of time, since the Weather Service keeps records only by dates, meteorologist Steven Taylor said.
A record was broken Tuesday in downtown Charleston for Aug. 28. Downtown Charleston got a record daily rainfall of 3.82 inches, breaking the old record of 2.78 inches that was set in 2002.
The West Ashley-based nonprofit lost some of what it planned to give teachers and was forced to temporarily shut down as a result of heavy rain this week.
Water backed up in its ceiling pipes and leaked, causing tiles to collapse and ruining donated material for classrooms. The nonprofit’s supporters covered what they could with tarps, but Chief Operating Officer Deborah Halon said she already knows poster boards and composition notebooks have been damaged.
“We’re going to salvage as much as we can,” Halon said Thursday as she surveyed the donated space it uses for its “store.”
The nonprofit’s landlord, Ashley Plaza Mall Associates, arranged for a cleanup crew to deal with the aftermath. Blowers were set up all over the space to dry the carpet, and soggy ceiling tiles were removed. Halon estimated 80 percent of those would need to be replaced.
The Teachers’ Supply Closet is among a number of tenants in the Ashley Landing Shopping Center off Sam Rittenberg Boulevard that experienced water-related issues earlier this week.
Ashley Farrell, a property consultant for the landlord, said they were trying to take care of any issues that had come up for the Teachers’ Supply Closet and others, and they didn’t have further comment.
Some store employees said they couldn’t speak to media, but the sand bags stacked outside of the Dollar Tree spoke for themselves. Others, such as those at CVS and Pivotal Fitness, said they had some leaks but no substantial damage.
Steve Endres manages the restaurant and pool hall Players’ Place, which is next door to the Teachers’ Supply Closet. He said he had about an inch of water on the floor, and firefighters recommended they leave the space Tuesday. They opened back up for business as usual on Wednesday, he said.
At the Teachers’ Supply Closet, power was back on by Thursday, but electrical cords dangled from the ceiling and its air-conditioning system will need to be checked.
Halon doesn’t plan to remove the tarps to check the supplies until the ceiling is fixed, so it likely will be next week until they can assess its losses. She said her goal is to be able to open for teachers as planned on Sept. 24.
“There’s still a lot left to do, but it could’ve been a lot worse,” she said.
Reach Diette Courrégé at @Diette on Twitter or 937-5546.