SKOWHEGAN — The sanctuary at the Centenary United Methodist Church on Dr. Mann Road was damaged by water on Jan. 7, according to a news release from John Malek.

There were five breaks in the pipes that had burst because of the frigid temperatures that had hit central Maine that weekend.

Undetected, the broken pipes had dumped water for hours, soaking not only the sanctuary area, but flooding into the floors below, where the church has housed it Clothes Closet mission work for more than a decade. It will be closed for cleanup for up to two months.

The Closet lost 7,000 pieces of clothing, according to lead Clothes Closet coordinators Amy Rouse, Marion Wing and Janice and John Malek.

The mission has provided clothes to tens of thousands of needy people in the area, some 3,000 or 4,000 pieces a year, John Malek said in the release.

Servpro, from the Augusta-Waterville region, is currently at work sopping up the water with equipment, fans and dehumidifiers, ripping up carpets, and tearing down walls at the church. The contents from the basement Clothes Closet and storage area is being transferred to a Dumpster.

Meanwhile, hundreds of clothes were salvaged in a cleaning deal Rouse reached with Garden Island Cleaners on North Avenue. She said they salvaged about 4,000 items, including about 250 pair of women’s pants sizes 6-18, about 60 pairs of men’s pants, 500 pair of children’s shorts, all the infant-toddler selections, plus sweaters, fleeces and sweatshirts, according to the release.

Malek and Rouse ask that people not drop off donations while the cleanup takes place because there is no storage space available.

The loss to the church, not covered by insurance, was at least $5,000, according to the release.

People who wish to donate to help cover that cost may give to the fund earmarked for: Clothes Closet Repair, Centenary United Methodist Church, 113 Dr. Mann Road, Skowhegan, ME. 04976.

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