Traffic backed up on Watertown’s Factory Street as thousands of masks were handed out

Updated: Apr. 25, 2020 at 4:39 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Watertown Urban Mission gave away thousands of free face masks Saturday and is looking to do it again.

The Urban Mission was gifted thousands of washable masks by Hanes.

Executive Director Dawn Cole says the nonprofit intended to start giving them away at 9:30 Saturday morning, but Factory Street was backed up with traffic that started a little after 8 a.m.

So, the Watertown Police Department suggested the distribution start early.

All morning long, cars lined up bumper-to-bumper with people waiting their turn for the masks.

“So, I knew there was a need. We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls, but never did I dream the whole parking lot, the whole street of Factory would be inundated with cars as early as 8:15 this morning,” said Cole.

Cole says she’s reached out to the Hanes Corporation to see if they can offer more masks to give away.

Jefferson County was also able to secure 44 thousand masks from the state Wednesday so other local charities such as the CAPC,Volunteer Transportation Center, and Department of Social Services will be distributing them as well.

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