Greater Berks Food Bank rocked by fast-rising rainwater

 

Heavy rains rocked the Greater Berks Food Bank in Spring Township on Friday.

"Inside of the building, we didn't get any water in, but out in the dock area, it was probably about three and a half feet high," said Adam Winchester, the food bank's operations manager.

Surveillance video captured water rising in the dock area, swallowing four of the food bank's six trucks.

"It was easily above waist level for myself when we pulled the trucks out," said Winchester.

Luckily, no food products were hit by the floodwater, according to Winchester, who said it's still unclear how badly the trucks were damaged, but the impact on distribution could be huge.

"You figure each truck can hold approximately 5,000 pounds of food, so if you're talking about four trucks being out of commission, you're talking about 20,000 pounds of food," he said.

And between the flooding and holiday weekend, it's a busy time for the food bank.

"After a holiday weekend or holiday time, there's a lot of agencies, food pantries, soup kitchens in the area that need product," said Winchester.

Winchester said the trucks will be evaluated Tuesday, and he plans to contact the township to work on the draining issue. In the meantime, he said volunteers can help get some of the product to those in need.

"If it's a non-food-related product, pet food, cleaning supplies, things of that nature, we could easily have volunteers go to locations and drop off; we also have a mini-van," said Winchester.

Depending on the damage, Winchester said he may need to rent a few trucks, but the goal is to have to the food bank fully operational by Wednesday.

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