EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The temperatures recently are a far cry from the below-zero conditions just before Christmas. But the impacts of that winter storm are still being felt around the Tristate, including the Ark Crisis Children’s Center in Evansville.

“As soon as I walked in the door, I heard water,” recalls Ark’s Executive Director Angie Richards Cheek. It was a Christmas Eve gift no one asked for. Sub-freezing temperatures for days on end led to frozen pipes inside Ark’s facility, damaging 2 of the 5 classrooms inside.

“Once I got further down the hall, it was just a waterfall,” explains Cheek. “It was so disheartening, it was one of those where you just kind of don’t know what to do. You’re like, ‘Okay, I don’t even know where to start with this.'”

The standing water is gone, however the impacts remain visible. Walls and cabinets are being replaced, the ceiling suffered significant damage, and new electrical wiring will need to be installed. Cheek says new flooring may be needed following further review.

“Things can be replaced, the building can be repaired, but these are little kids,” says Cheek. “And their lives and their safety, they are families that are already struggling. So that’s kind of the biggest weight I feel on my shoulders through the whole thing, because I can’t fix things for them right now.”

Other areas in the Tristate are also dealing with the storm’s aftermath. Officials in Hopkins County, Kentucky say repairs continue in several neighborhoods where pipes had burst. And cleanup is ongoing at Aurora in Evansville. For Ark, it is one day at a time while finding moments to celebrate progress.

“When water was restored, that was huge to have water running from the sink instead of the ceiling. That was a big deal for us,” says Cheek. “Every little thing, every little step is going to be a victory. And it’s going to be so, so wonderful when we’ve got those kiddos back in this building.”

Ark officials are planning for at least two of the five rooms to be ready after the start of the new year. The remaining three rooms will re-open for children as soon as repairs are completed.