As widely reported, Saint Peter the Aleut Church here sustained damage during the recent floods.
From various sources, we have learned that the damage to the church is extensive.
“We received a couple of feet of water on the main floor, which was enough to put a few inches in the altar,” we have learned from one of the parishioners. “We were not able to move things out of the church before the flood. We moved as much as we could into the choir loft and put the tables from the basement on top of the pews and piled everything we could on top of the tables. The water didn’t reach high enough to get those belongings wet, but there is mold on everything that is porous.
“Father Anastassy is renting an apartment in Bismarck for the time being,” she continues. “He comes up to Minot for services. The Episcopal Church lets us use their church for services on Sunday, but we can’t get in until 11:30. We were first able to go into the area last weekend. Father Anastassy was brought up from Bismarck — he went there when the flooding started — along with a trailer, and several of us went to Father’s house in the afternoon to remove his belongings. The house he lived in is going to be torn down.
“On Monday morning, a few of us cleaned out the garage behind the church to prepare it for the church belongings,” she writes. “It is horrible working in the flood zone! The smell is awful and you have to wear protective masks, boots, gloves, etc…. Some bids have been received for removing and cleaning out the church, but it is very expensive! All of the carpet, flooring, and walls have to be removed. The insulation also has to be removed and they discovered asbestos. The bids range from $45,000 to $110,000. The church did not have flood insurance and, not having the fair this year — the church has a gyro booth at the North Dakota State Fair in Minot — is really going to hurt us. I don’t see how we can afford to do it, but I don’t want it to be done by people who don’t know what they are doing. There is extensive mold up the walls in the church and that is very dangerous! We are on hold at the moment. I have put up a Facebook page for the church because people were asking how they could help. Father is trying to reach out to get some donations. It is just so overwhelming!”
Concerning the homes of parishioners, some were flooded, with others had seepage and minimal damage.
“I don’t think Minot will ever be the same, with over 4000 homes flooded,” she concludes. “Many homes had their basement walls collapse. Thank you for your prayers. We need all of the help we can get!”
Photos of the extensive damage to Saint Peter Church are now posted on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Peter-the-Aleut-Orthodox-Church/147966038614055.