Gulfport Church Cleans Up After Monday's Flooding

Church members are using a vacuum to suck up the soggy carpeting at "Forest Heights Missionary Baptist Church". Flood waters from Monday's storm, soaked the entire sanctuary, dining area and offices at the Gulfport church. This is the third time, the church has flooded.

Virginia James says she's sad about the water situation, but she knows they must get the church cleaned and ready for Sunday's service. That's because on Sunday, the church will hold an installation ceremony for it's new pastor, Reverend George D-Rouse. Church members are scrambling to clean-up the mess, and remove the soiled carpeting and ruined furniture.

Rev. George Rouse says they've got to deal with the molding, the smell, and the doors are ruined. They also have to put in new carpeting, so there's a lot to do before the church is ready to have service again.

The church is located right next to Turkey Creek. A day after the storm, water from the creek is still very high. The pastor says whenever there's a hard, fast rain, water from the creek creeps into homes, businesses and the church.

Rev. Rouse says the creek needs to be cleaned out, so that it would drain properly. That way, it wouldn't back up and constantly damage the church. Virginia James says it breaks her heart every time there's a lot of rain and she sees what happens to the church.

Gulfport Public Works Director Kris Riemann says Turkey Creek was cleaned out several years ago, right after Hurricane Georges. He says in this case, it was too much water, with no place to go. Riemann says crews will check nearby ditches this week, to see if they need to be cleaned. He says the city is working on funding for a plan to widen Turkey Creek, to improve the drainage.

By: Trang Pham-Bui