Our Savior faces major cleanup job after flooding


A LARGE PILE of debris was piled up outside Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in Grafton as workers began clean-up operations following recent flood damage. Photo courtesy of Our Savior

STANDING WATER covered the floors in lower-level rooms at Our Savior Lutheran Church & School following last month’s torrential rain. Photo courtesy of Our Savior
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

After last month’s flooding, Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in Grafton could have more than $200,000 in damage.

On Aug. 27, when officials arrived to the church at 1332 Arrowhead Rd., they found the lower level of the building was flooded with water after the previous night had more than seven inches of rain.

The lowest part of the church received the most water damage because there was nearly two feet of standing water.

Many rooms, including  a library, kitchen, classroom, furnace rooms, storage areas and stairwell were flooded.

“Some of our precious items were spared like our sanctuary art that was stored downstairs and submerged,” said the Rev. Mark Wagner in a press release. “But we had to remove all drywall up to 32 inches in all areas, most of the cabinets, many book shelves.”

Officials said a low tract of land around the church allowed the water from the storm to flood the basement.

Within a couple hours, the water had subsided and volunteers began to collect and pile the damaged items outside.

Contractors supplied a large loader to crush wet cabinets, desks, shelves and unusable books into a dumpster.

“We are grateful to the Lord for the many friends in our community and members of our congregation and school that went above and beyond to help in the immediate relief effort following our water intrusion and damage,” Staff Minister Tom Hering said.

Work was done immediately to prevent mold damage; 40 fans were brought in and the church’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were restored.

The building is dry and work for cleaning and restoration can begin.

Officials said the church has about $20,000 in work costs already and is awaiting insurance expenses, but it is unclear if all the damage will be covered. Officials said it will be about a month before they find out about the coverage.

The building lost all six of its furnaces, a stove, refrigerator, and 13,000 books. Officials said the estimate to replace the books is approximately $100,000. Damage to the building is between $75,000 to $100,000.

The church has replaced three of its furnaces and has hired contractors to remediate the water damage in the basement.

The school began classes on time because a multipurpose room was used to replace the flooded classroom downstairs.

In the meantime, officials said there is a need for more extensive work to restore the basement before it can be used for class and church activities.

“Thank you for the many prayers and expressions of loving support that we have received,” Our Savior Lutheran School Principal Joel Grulke said in the press release. “We are grateful that we were able to do some immediate shifting and readjusting, even as the flood water was barely gone, to keep our school functioning through this challenging time.”

For more information about volunteering at the church, call the church office at 377-6363 or email oslcoffice@wi.rr.com.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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