SPOKANE, Wash.---About 200 donated prom dresses are being thrown out after receiving water damage from recent heavy rains.
Hannah’s Prom and Dress Closet is a shop that collects donated prom dresses. It’s a nonprofit organization that helps high schoolers have the chance to dress up for prom and other school dances.
“A lot of them can’t afford a dress, or they look and look and they’re not able to find one. So we’re that last resort for some girls,” said Brittiny Bowen, the daughter of the organization’s director.
But with the recent flooding in parts of the downtown area, more than just eager high school students were rushing into the shop.
Floodwaters were pouring into the building’s basement.
“It was about three to five inches of standing water downstairs,” Bowens said. “We have a lot of dresses that are pretty nasty and muddy.”
The shop has an inventory of about 1,000 dresses, many of which are now unwearable.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the damage that’s been done,” Bowens said.
She said one of the shop’s volunteers witnessed the flooding while it was happening.
“She heard a big waterfall,” Bowens said.
In the days since the flooding started, Bowens said the building’s condition has worsened. The water in the basement shut off the elevator, temporarily preventing the volunteers from getting to parts of the shop.
“We had a brand new dressing room that a volunteer just donated, and she went and took a lot of time and painted. That’s damaged now. It’s ruined,” Bowens said.
She said their biggest hope now is just to salvage the remaining dresses.
“We’re just trying to push through,” she said.