At about 8 AM, Tuesday, January 2nd, our church secretary came into the building to hear the loud sound of running water in the church near the ladies bathroom upstairs (by the coffee area and coat rack). She heard and saw water in the hall. Knowing that there was an issue (and that water flows down), she ran downstairs and found that much of the lower level was flooded and made some emergency phone calls.
Help arrived quickly–and kept arriving throughout the day. As it turned out, four pipes had frozen and burst. Upstairs, there was water spurting in the ladies bathroom. In addition, there was water flowing out of the ceiling of the first floor.
Upstairs, this water flooded a good portion of the men’s and women’s bathrooms as well as part of the hallway.
The main water damage, however, was downstairs. There was a considerable amount of water in the lower level that flooded the lower bathrooms, the hallway, the library/Wayne’s office, the Cubbies room, the AWANA storage room, and the 3 other classrooms that are used for Sunday School. In addition, the Kidz Church/Elevate room and GVAC rooms had water. Basically, the only rooms that weren’t affected was the “youth area” on the northwest end. Every other room had at least some water. In some areas, the water had accumulated to several inches.
Several of our men worked on finding the leak and shutting off the water. We also contacted our insurance company and then made a call to a company to extract the water. Unfortunately, the company was swamped with prior commitments and said that, unfortunately, they would not able to come out immediately. Several of our men brought dry vacs to begin getting the water up. We also put a call out on social media for more and received one. These folks worked tirelessly trying to extract the water as quickly as possible to prevent further damage.
Just after 1 PM, the water extraction company called and said they would be out to survey the damage. By this time, most of the water was cleaned up in the hall, the large classroom on the southeast side, and the GVAC. Considerable progress was being made in the Kidz Church/Elevate room (which had more than 200 gallons of water). The extraction company has been amazing. They extracted the excess water and placed drying fans where necessary. They also tested for anything harmful such as asbestos or mold. As of this writing, they are making plans to remove wet paneling and drywall. There will be a “removal” stage and a “building” stage. Things will be “a mess” for a while.
Our church staff and several ministry leaders met this week to discuss what needed to be done in the interim. We definitely will not have access to the downstairs by this Sunday–January 7. We have made plans to utilize all available rooms upstairs–which is a huge challenge. However, we are confident everything will be fine. This move mainly affects are children and youth.
As your pastor, I want to say a big thank you to the men that showed up to help and the others who brought or offered assistance and supplies. Needless to say, it was a stressful and busy day for all, but there were no complaints. I thank God for their work, their wisdom, and their great attitude. They worked tirelessly and did what needed to be done. We are truly blessed with amazing folks!
We will move on from here and continue to do ministry as usual. I truly believe this is only a “minor” setback and things will be back to “normal” in no time. Our goal is that the downstairs area will be safe, comfortable, and appealing. In the meantime, we appreciate your prayers and your patience.