Knocked down, but not out, the Escondido Goodwill Industries Thrift Shop re-opened for business at 550 W Washington Ave. on Friday, March 4.
That’s no mean feat considering the extent of damage engendered when El Nino huffed, puffed and blew the Escondido Goodwill roof down on Jan. 6. Goodwill officials said the damage was such that the store was closed longer than any of their other local stores in history.
Darlene Cossio, director of communications for Goodwill Industries of San Diego County, told NBC 7. that some 30-35 displaced employees would be back on the job as well. Many of the workers were Goodwill recipients who relocated to other area stores during the closure.
Even as Escondido’s venerable Goodwill Industries Thrift Shop dug out from its roof-blown months of discontent, donations kept coming. Donations were steady and generous at the makeshift reception area in the store parking lot.
“I was sorry to hear about what happened,” Escondido resident David Jack Rollins said as he dropped off a load last month. “I always come here and I’m sure I’ll have more to bring back.”
Escondido officials famously take their time with permits and approval. Not this time, “Today, we closed up the roof,”Beth Forsberg, Goodwill Industries of San Diego County vice president, retail and operation, said.
“I cant stress enough, how amazing the city of Escondido has been. I cant say enough about that. They gave us the (necessary) permits immediately. We’re hoping to re-open as soon as possible.”
That was the way it was 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6
All was not copacetic, as in excellent order, the night of Jan. 6. Around 11:30 pm. during the nasty El Nino display, thundering winds and rain blew out sections of the store’s roof. This set off a Rube Goldberg sequence of unfortunate events as the building roof collapsed.
“Quite frankly, when I got the first phone call, it was there’s a problem with the roof,” Forsberg, said at the scene the following morning. “The second phone call was the roof collapsed and third phone call was thank goodness our staff got out safely.”
Forsberg added: “I live in Alpine and got the call. I came here with my pajamas under my jacket. Thankfully, nobody was hurt.”
El Nino’s deluge rattled and roared, according to Goodwill Industries officials surveying what was left of the store’s interior. About three-quarters of store inventory was damaged in the unfortunate rain event, officials said.
The cracking and odd sound, heard by the four-member, late-night store cleaning crew onsite at the time, represented roof tiles bulging before ripping. Cleaning crew members saw just enough to get the heck out of Dodge and dodge outside.
As the roof came tumbling down
The roof came tumbling Humpty Dumpty down less than five minutes after the grand exit. Escondido Police and Fire were on scene by that time.
As the roof fell apart, it resembled one of those once-popular Rube Goldberg cartoon contraptions as the tumult blew out an emergency door, while also bursting a fire sprinkler pipe. In turn, the ruptured pipe sent cascades of city water through the embattled store. Water blew out glass as well with several inches flooding the building.
With more El Nino storms anticipated this year, Escondido Fire Battalion Chief Mike Bertrand recommends preparing as much as you can before the next storm.
“It’s better to be prepared, make sure your rain gutters are clear that you don’t have debris around your house … go ahead and get sand bags and secure those areas before it happens,” Bertrand said.