BREAKING NEWS: Panhandle churches mop up after overnight deluge
Apr 30, 2014
Florida Baptist Witness

Photo courtesy of Gary Lewis
Churches in Florida’s Panhandle are mopping up today after rains deluged the area with around 20 inches of rain overnight. The storm was part of the weather system that produced tornadoes in other southern states.

Schools in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties are closed today, as are the area’s multiple military bases. Roadways, including some spots on I-10, are impassable in areas, and law enforcement officials asked motorists to stay off the roads.

Stan Lewis, executive pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, said the Worship Center and foyer received water damage from roof leaks and from flooded parking lots. The music suite also received damage.

Lewis said the area around Olive Baptist received 22 inches of rain.

Around 11 am CDT, Lewis said “water extraction” teams were at work in the Worship Center, and volunteers were checking on church members and asking law enforcement officers if their families needed help from the church.

Immanuel Baptist Church in Pace has several roof leaks in the worship center, according to office assistant Ann Johnston. Wednesday evening activities will be held in the church’s Activity Center.

Parking lots and outdoor walkways are flooded around First Baptist Church in Milton, although buildings seemed dry, according to Minister of Music Kenneth Martin.

Joel Hunt, pastor of Floridatown Baptist Church, said the Church property remained dry, although several church members’ homes were flooded. Roads surrounding the church had evidence of erosion damage, including “pavement peeling away,” he said.

First Baptist Church in Cantonment reported no damage from the storm.

*the photo, above, is a picutre of Olive Baptist Churchs' flooded sanctuary.

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