AUGUSTA — The Augusta Food Bank closed Monday after water leaked into its new building, likely caused by the combination of snow, ice, wind and temperatures outside.

The Augusta Food Bank moved to its new building, at 161 Mount Vernon Ave., last month.

Executive Director Alan Smith came in Monday morning and found water running into the building in multiple places, apparently coming from the back of the building, likely through or around its metal roof.

“We had nine different spots where water was coming into the building, so we got the contractors in this morning and they’re going to get it all fixed up for us,” Smith said. “We don’t know if it’s an ice dam on the new roof, or an insulation issue, or what; they’re working on it. We did have some ice building up on the roof. (The water) is coming from outside, something to do with the weather. All the snow, ice and wind brought ice through the back of the building.”

Smith said no clients had appointments to pick up food Monday and anyone calling to get food on Monday would be given an appointment to pick up food Tuesday. If the repairs are successful, the food bank plans to reopen Tuesday for distribution from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m., Smith said.

Smith said he is confident the problems will be fixed by Tuesday. He said a major reason the food bank closed was because so many workers — from Augusta Fuel Company and contractors for Lajoie Brothers — were working on scaffolding setup inside the building that it would make it next to impossible to distribute food Monday. The food bank on Monday would normally be open for food distribution between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

“That’s why we had to shut down. That’s no way to run distribution, with giants sets of staging setup all over the place,” Smith said Monday morning. Contractors “are very confident they’ll have it fixed today.”

Brutally cold temperatures have caused numerous problems for central Maine in recent days, though the cold spell was expected to break, with warmer temperatures forcast this week.

Smith said the building itself does not appear to have sustained any major damage from the water infiltration. He said some ceiling tiles and insulation will have to be replaced, but the drywall walls don’t appear to have been damaged. Some water leaked onto an electrical box, but did not cause any damage or cause any circuits to blow.

The building also temporarily lost some heating units, which Smith said was because its propane tanks were nearly empty. He said Augusta Fuel Company delivered some more fuel as soon as the food bank reported it was running low.

Clients can still call the food bank at 213-2233 to make appointments for this week between 9:30 and 11 a.m., and new clients may also call that number to register from 11 a.m. to noon.

Smith said the food bank’s new building, which was built by Lajoie Brothers, is still under warranty and the repairs won’t cost the food bank any money.

He said the builder and Augusta Fuel Company have been very responsive and showed up to work on the problem as soon as it was reported. He said some problems can be expected in a brand-new building.

“When you get this cold of a season, and you have a brand new building, we’re kind of winging it in knowing how it’s going to respond,” Smith said. “It’s still under the brand-new building warranty, so there is no cost to us. We used Lajoie Brothers and Augusta Fuel, and they’ve both been fantastic. We love the building. Nothing is perfect in life, especially with these weather conditions.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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