Recent floods had a more lasting effect than closing streets for a few hours.
The waters from flooded Union Street were a foot deep in the Salvation Army chapel and adjoining rooms, leaving a layer of mud while ruining carpet and tiles and forcing the closure of the sanctuary, said Sgt. Pamela Starr, leader of the Salvation Army’s Brunswick corps.
“We’ve had to close the church building,’’ Starr said.
The closure forced her to go back into “church in the box,’’ in which worship materials are delivered to the doors of worshipers.
Like some area churches, the Salvation Army had resumed Sunday morning services after coronavirus cases dropped, but now Starr will resume going to the homes of worshipers delivering all they need for a Sunday morning service.
“We only have three or four families,’’ Starr said.
She’ll deliver directions to a YouTube service, including scripture passages to look up, hymns the families can sing together and a benediction, Starr said. She plans to begin outdoor services soon, possibly in a public park.
As for the damage, Starr said an insurance adjuster said the only option is tearing out the floor coverings. The carpet in the chapel is ruined and the tiles beneath it are beginning to pop up as are those elsewhere in the building.
All of the wooden furniture also had to be thrown out.
Families that need help at Christmas had formerly registered at the chapel because it had enough room to move people through safely, she said. Now, the registration has been moved to the men and women’s shelter facing Reynolds Street.
Starr said she doesn’t know how long the repairs will take nor does she know the cost.
“There may be asbestos in there,’’ she said, referring to the floor tiles in the old building.
The water also got into the disaster canteen, a vehicle from which the Salvation Army provides food and other necessities usually after storms. It was undamaged and only needed to be cleaned with a wet vac.
To ensure it doesn’t get flooded again, the canteen was moved to the Salvation Army in St. Marys where it will remain until after the storm season has passed, she said.
Starr said she will begin looking for an outdoor venue for the Sunday services. Worshiping in a park will give the church more visibility and could be a way to reach more people, she said.
When she assumed leadership of the Brunswick Salvation Army last summer, Starr said her highest priority is spreading the gospel of Jesus.