The Diaper Bank of North Carolina is still assessing the impact of the Winston Weaver fertilizer plant fire on its Triad warehouse location in Winston-Salem. The building remains closed.
The warehouse on Indiana Avenue is located adjacent to the plant.
The Greater Triad Branch serves those in need of diapers and hygiene products both in Winston-Salem and in several neighboring counties. Those products are sent to local community groups who distribute them.
Michelle Old, CEO and founder of the Diaper Bank of North Carolina says it's too early to know the full impact of any damage to the facility or possible product contamination from smoke or chemical fumes. For now, the building is closed indefinitely.
She says that during a brief assessment on Friday, they found several large roof leaks.
“The water damage that we've experienced — we are going to have to dispose of 60,000 products," she says. "If we have to dispose of the products that are in the warehouse, it holds up to a million products, and so it's going to cause quite a ripple effect through our organization in terms of meeting the need in both regions.”
The organization is currently sending products from its Durham location to Triad community partners. Old says experts are testing diapers inside the warehouse in Winston-Salem for any possible contamination.
"It's heartbreaking," she says. "Because we know where every single diaper has come from. We know the organizations and groups who have donated to our work."
Old says the organization is asking folks to hold off for now on organizing diaper drives until a full assessment at the site is completed.
The Diaper Bank of North Carolina distributes over 100,000 diapers monthly in the Triad, which means they serve about 2,000 babies each month.
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