Churches clean up, cancel services amid flooding

Churches clean up, cancel services amid flooding

Members at Red Bank United Methodist Church "rushed to the building" to help clean and dry flooded rooms on Saturday, said the Rev. Ken Sauer.

ALCOA, Tenn. (Feb. 24, 2019) – United Methodist churches in East Tennessee are cleaning up after weekend floods. Some canceled their Sunday services as floodwaters blocked entrances or threatened church property.

Members at Red Bank United Methodist Church helped clean and dry their building on Saturday so that Sunday services could be held, according to the Rev. Ken Sauer.

“Thankfully, our director of music and worship arts was at the church as it started to flood,” Sauer said. “The water only got to four rooms, 2-3 inches in each room. A couple dozen church members rushed to the building and cleaned up in a few hours.”

At the Wesley Foundation at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, students also spent Saturday cleaning up rainwater that saturated several rooms in the building.

“It was hard work, but we made it fun,” said Sarah Adinolfi.

Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Knoxville canceled services as flood waters lapped the property around the church.

“I am very thankful our building is dry inside,” the Rev. Ann Robins wrote on her Facebook page.

In Spring City, Tennessee, many residents were evacuated as rain poured into their homes. A Red Cross shelter opened at Spring City United Methodist Church to accommodate evacuees.

“Our doors are open if you need a place to go,” the church’s Facebook page declared.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency declared a state of emergency for Tennessee on Saturday after record-setting rainfall caused flooding across large parts of the state, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.


Annette Spence

Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.