The Boys & Girls Club of Vista was flooded and damaged by Tuesday’s powerful storm as an old drainage pipe burst, creating large holes in the ceiling that dumped what seemed like “waterfalls” into rooms.
“There was just water everywhere; it looked like we got a swimming pool [inside],” Stephanie Guerrero said, describing the scene at her workplace. “We walked in, and there’s like a waterfall coming from the ceiling.”
Stephanie said staffers moved large trash cans underneath the holes to catch the water but the damage was already done. Part of the roof had collapsed and two rooms inside the facility used for preschool classes were severely damaged. The game and art rooms used by kids age 5 and older, as well as the library, were flooded.
Staffers used fans to try to dry out the rooms and walls. However, Stephanie said water seeped through the walls so the drywall will have to be ripped out and replaced. The repairs, she was told, will take about two weeks to complete.
For now, preschool students won’t be able to attend class at the facility and kids enrolled in other programs will not have access to their favorite rooms. This includes Stephanie’s 5-year-old son, Rory Guerrero, who plays bumper pool in the game room every day.
He told NBC 7 he was sad about the damage.
“It got all flooded and the trash can is full of water,” he said.
Rory is a self-professed bumper pool pro, so he said he’ll miss playing in the game room for the next couple of weeks. His sister, Rubi Guerrero, also uses the facility daily.
“It’s my favorite place and it’s sad [that it’s damaged],” said Rubi.
For now, Stephanie said the games – including Rory’s beloved bumper pool – art supplies and books have been moved into the gym and other areas that remain open.
The facility on W. California Avenue is used daily by more than 200 children. Parents of preschool students will have to find another place to take their children while the classrooms are repaired and all other programs will have to take place in the gym.
An online fundraising page has been created to collect donations for repairs.