By Jeff Brumley
The flooding that killed at least three Coloradans and forced the evacuations of thousands of others also menaced downtown Boulder churches and their members.
Pastor Bob Ballance of Pine Street Church told ABPnews today that nearby roads and bridges have been washed out, stranding senior adults in homes unreachable by family and friends. In a Facebook post he added that “we have two dams that are threatening to break.”
Many in the American Baptist congregation are experiencing flooding in their homes, with some having to be evacuated, he said.
The flooding resulted from days of heavy rainfall that has damaged infrastructure and left 17 Coloradans missing, according to news reports. Ballance said the greater Denver area received about a year’s rainfall level in 72 hours.
The situation at Pine Street — formerly First Baptist of Boulder — looked bleak Thursday night.
“We pumped and mopped water all day and it seemed we would win the battle, but then . . . it became apparent the water would win — hands down,” Ballance said in his Facebook post.
At that point water was streaming into the church “like a waterfall” with several rooms flooded as the building’s lights flickered.
Several homeless people are staying in the church for shelter. “To say that they are grateful would be an understatement,” Ballance said on Facebook.
He concluded the message with a call for prayers for safety, that “there will be no more deaths from the flooding, and that we will stop in this chaos and angst to take stock of the suffering that is impacting so many in such serious ways.”
Speaking by phone on Friday, Ballance said the situation began to improve around 4 a.m. today and that the sun as begun to shine. However, more rain is in the forecast and many Coloradans, including members of Pine Street Church, remain either stranded in or evacuated from their homes and communities.
“We can’t even make telephone contact with some of our seniors,” he said.
Much of the infrastructure damage will be difficult to repair and Ballance predicted it would take at least six months to complete recovery efforts. But a lot of good has come from the flooding, he added.
“What we’re finding is this is really pulling people together.”