Flood Destroys Palmer School Basement Church and Community Rally

May 01, 2006 | Bobbie Grimstad

Builder Rob Carleson discovered a flood in the basement of the newly completed Mat Valley Adventist School (Palmer, Alaska) one Sunday morning in February. Overflow water from a nearby culvert came in such a torrent that the metal garage doors into the basement were buckled.

Watermarks on the walls showed the water level had reached six feet high, and mud coated the floor. The damage was estimated at $60,000 to $80,000.

“The basement looked as if it had been vandalized,” said one of the many volunteer carpenters who has worked with other church members on the school project. Refrigerators had been overturned, bookcases and shelving knocked down, and their contents strewn about the entire basement.

The Adventist Book Center was demolished, labels were stripped from mud-caked cans of vegetarian foods, and grains and beans mixed into the general debris on the floor.

A preschool activity room was also ravaged by the flood. Muck-covered toys were tossed across the floor, and the furniture was overturned and mired in sludge.

Church and community members turned out to help with the clean up process and to salvage as much as possible.