Enid Salvation Army Recovers Slowly From May Flooding

Sunday, June 19th 2011, 7:38 pm
By: News 9

Jacqueline Sit, News 9

ENID, Oklahoma -- The Salvation Army of Enid is slowly recovering from water damage after heavy rains flooded their building in May.   

On this Father's Day, a make shift Sunday service was held inside a dining room.

Heavy rain left several feet of floodwater inside and around the shelter, chapel and store.  Repairs are estimated to cost $150,000.

Captain John Dancer of the Enid Salvation Army said, "It wasn't just rain water, but it was sewer water  and because it was all that type of water, it all has to go."

He said the pews inside the chapel bore the lion's share of the damage.  "The wood the pews are made of are similar to these rags--it sucks the water up into the legs so they're not sittable."

Adie Carlton has gone to the church for more than 40 years.  "It's pretty devastating, overwhelming," she said.

She remembers the heavy downpour which cause the flooding that destroyed the chapel.  "We were walking through about four inches of water and mud and we were sopping water or dipping water with cups and everything else to get it out of the building."

Inside the main shelter building a section of the wall has been cut away after sewage-contaminated waters saturated the drywall.

"The walls about two feet up are all gone.  They still have to come back and replace all the toilets and the sinks and everything," Dancer said.

Floodwaters also destroyed part of the Salvation Army Store and damaged 16,000 pounds of donated clothing.

"Summer is hard to raise money," Dancer said, "and now, on top of this, it's going to take us a lot longer to get the money we need."

"It's pretty sad, but it's just a building, it's not the church," Carlton said.  "The building don't make the church, it's the people."

Church services will continue every single Sunday inside the dining room until the chapel is fixed, church members hope, by the end of the summer.