A water main break brought water rushing into an Allendale church on Saturday. Now the congregation is drying things out and hoping the city can do something to keep it from happening again.
Chairs are stacked on tables where bible studies normally take place on Sunday mornings at Saint Mary's Church on Kenneth Street. Fans have been set up to blow to dry the floors and walls where nearly six inches of water stood.
"We normally have our classroom down in the basement, our men's class. So we had to revert and go back upstairs and have our men Sunday school class," said Saint Mary's Church Board Member Don Ellis.
A 24" water main busted Saturday evening, sending water surging down Dunlap Street. The water rushed into several homes and into the basement of Saint Mary's Baptist Church, "shooting out of the ground about 7, 8, 9, 10 inches up in the air. I saw busted concrete and busted sidewalk."
Now that the leak is fixed and the water has subsided, church members are trying to figure out exactly how much damage is done. "We do know some paint is chipped down in the basement, and some things were moved. So with the water current, it tore up some of the asphalt in the front of the street, so we don't know how much damage it did to the church as of yet."
The water rushed down an alleyway towards Kenneth Street and Andrew Avenue, gouging trenches into the ground. Ellis described it as a flowing river. "Waves were going and everything. It had a lot of force with it."
For now, church members remain positive but they're hoping the city will be quick to fix the road and provide better drainage, in case something like this happens again.
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