Yellowknife’s downtown Independent and a range of YK Centre Mall stores were closed on Friday morning after a sprinkler system malfunctioned.
The Independent, where the leak took place over aisle 10, was open again by lunchtime. Employees were busy scanning damaged food to donate to Food Rescue Yellowknife and cleaning up the last of the water as business resumed.
An employee scans food damaged by water in a sprinkler malfunction for Food Rescue Yellowknife. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Tony Spirito, from Can Pro Restorations, said property owner Northview had reported a “big water leak from the sprinkler system” at roughly 6:30am on Friday.
The sprinkler flooded the Independent and some stores in the mall’s basement beneath.
Vehicles from Can Pro Restorations and Carl’s Carpet Cleaning were parked outside the building.
“We have it under control. The mall and the stores will be temporarily closed for a little bit, but they will be reopening up today,” Spirito told Cabin Radio shortly after 10am.
A sign on Yellowknife’s downtown Independent store on August 21, 2020. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Employees at stores such as Roy’s, For Men Only, and Flowers North were cleaning their premises following the incident.
“There were quite a few spots where we had a massive pooling of water in there,” said Spirito. “There was probably about two or three inches of water everywhere, but we got it all contained properly and emptied out and it’s all drying.”
Spirito said the grocery store and basement of the mall were both affected.
“We don’t have any exact determination of the cause,” he said.
An employee who answered the phone at Flowers North said: “Our shop is OK because it didn’t flood too much. Everything has mostly dried off.”
Stores in the mall’s upper level were not affected.
Aron Abadi, who works at Ragged Ass Barbers and is hoping to open his own shoe store in the mall’s basement on Saturday, said both stores escaped damage.
He intends to open the shoe store on Saturday as planned.
Sarah Pruys and Sarah Sibley contributed reporting.