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Billings homeless shelter drying off after 2 million gallons of water flood basement

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(MRM) (MRM)
BILLINGS -

Billings city employees are cleaning up the mess left behind at the Montana Rescue Mission downtown, where more than two million gallons of water spilled into the shelter's basement.

Since the pipe burst on Saturday, the men staying at the shelter have slept in the MRM administration building.

“Thank god for all of the people who came together and donated,” said MRM Public Relations Director Denise Smith. “We’ve been able to serve people cold sandwiches whether they’re walking up off the street or they are residents with us. But there has been some displacement.”

Outside Granny's Attic along Montana Avenue, there's a gaping hole where the roadway meets the sidewalk.

MRM officials believe the shelter can be saved, but the sandstone foundation of the other four buildings may be permanently damaged.

Crews worked Monday to stabilize the street so it does not cave in from the pressure caused by 2.2 million gallons of water the blasted through.

MRM’s water utility was turned back on Monday, but the electricity is still off.

The kitchen is currently unusable.

“We’re thinking about all of our options,” said Smith.

 Volunteers are invited to show up Wednesday to help move out items from the voucher room.

“We don’t want the things down there to get damp and ruined,” said Smith.

A big sale is planned Saturday to try and boost recovery funds.

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