Nashville Goodwill warehouse flooded by Harvey storm remnants

Thousands of boxes of donated items were destroyed when floodwaters rushed through a Goodwill warehouse in Nashville last Friday.

Nashville Goodwill warehouse flooded by Harvey storm remnants

Cookeville location fully stocked for now


By Amye Anderson

UCBJ Managing Editor


NASHVILLE — Remnants of Hurricane Harvey, responsible for dumping more than 10 inches of rain on parts of Nashville last week also sent approximately 18 inches of rainwater through a main Goodwill warehouse in downtown there.

Stacks of heavy, 4-foot-high cardboard boxes full of donations spilled throughout the warehouse, ruining approximately 8,000 large boxes of donated clothing and other goods that were to be sold to benefit the nonprofit organization’s mission.

“Although Goodwill’s loss of donations due to flooding was extensive, we have another warehouse and our inventory is sufficient to keep all 34 stores — including Cookeville — fully stocked for now,” said Chris Fletcher, PR & Communications Manager.

“We are concerned about the loss of many winter coats, shoes and other warm clothing, however, as these are items that will soon be in high demand in our stores,” Fletcher added. “For this reason, we welcome donations of this type from the public to help us overcome this unfortunate incident.”

No one was hurt in the flooding at Goodwill’s Nashville headquarters on Herman Street, because the damage occurred early Friday morning when no employees were present.

“We recognize that our losses pale in comparison to those suffered by storm victims in Texas and the Gulf Coast, and we encourage everyone to contribute to disaster relief efforts for those areas,” said Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee CEO and President Matthew Bourlakas. “At the same time, we are heartbroken that donations that were generously given to us have been destroyed, and we welcome donations to help us overcome this unfortunate setback.”

Clothing made up about 85 percent of the stored items in the 71,000-square-foot warehouse.

While Goodwill carries flood insurance for the downtown warehouse and its contents, cleanup is expected to take weeks or even months.

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