Five LCMS congregations’ church buildings in the area hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina may have to be demolished as a result of damage from the storm — this according to Rev. David Lewis, the Southern District’s coordinator of District Disaster Relief.
The five buildings include Lutheran Church of the Pines in Waveland, Miss., which took a direct hit from the Category 4 hurricane, including a six-foot storm surge; and four New Orleans-area churches that stood in deep flood water for days after levees there gave way Aug. 30.
Lewis said that all five churches “have sustained damage to structures that may mean they have to be demolished.”
In the New Orleans area, those include Christ Lutheran Church, Chalmette; Holy Cross Lutheran Church; and Trinity Lutheran Church (on North Claibrone Avenue) — all three with as much as eight to 10 feet of flood water that “remained for some time.”
Lewis declined to name the other New Orleans-area church whose building may have to be razed, saying it was too early to determine the extent of its flood damage at the time this issue went to the printer.
“Of the approximately 42 LCMS churches in the area most affected by Katrina,” he said, “16 congregations have sustained damages that can be repaired — some at great cost; and 11 congregations have received slight damage, most of which is in the process of being repaired.”
“Initially,” Lewis said, “the greatest damage was due to wind and the storm surge of the waves along the Mississippi Coast. He said that besides the Waveland congregation, “other congregations in Mississippi suffered wind and storm-surge damage, as well as from rain coming through storm-damaged roofs.”
Lewis said that early reports indicated that “it appears there isn’t any significant damage to our churches’ properties” caused by Hurricane Rita on Sept. 24.
Posted Sept. 29, 2005