When flash flood waters rushed down the mountainside and through the streets of El Paso on September 16, 2014, some of those waters made it into the downstairs entry, fellowship hall, and school rooms of Zion Lutheran Church. Zion members and school staff rushed to the church in the middle of the night to place sand bags but a significant amount of rain and dirt had already made its way in to the building. When the sun came out the next morning, a water extraction company was called and the clean up process began. The storm made national news because the flood waters had also shut down the portion of I-10 near Zion and affected several portions of the city.
In the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), Zion is located in the Rocky Mountain District (El Paso, New Mexico, Colorado, & Utah). Doug Ullman at the Rocky Mountain District Office saw the news reports and contacted Pastor Heimer to offer assistance. On April 6, 2015, with the help of a $15,000 grant from the LCMS Office for Disaster Response and another $8,334 grant from the Rocky Mountain District, Zion will begin the final stage of the cleanup and repair effort that began the night of the flood. Zion is deeply grateful for the grants that are enabling the church to continue its vibrant ministry and outreach in El Paso and repair the affected facilities . These funds will enable contract workers to
- – remove the downstairs carpeting,
- – inspect for and treat any mold that could have formed behind soaked dry wall,
- – replace warped paneling,
- – install floor tile,
- – patch the portion of parking lot that was washed away,
- – build a barrier outside the back door to help prevent future flooding.
The work will begin on April 6th, after the celebration of Easter/Resurrection Day and will be conducted in a way that will allow normal school and church activities to continue as normal. Work should be completed by the end of April.
If you have questions about the project or if you would like to volunteer your help, please contact Charlie Myers or send a note here.