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January 25, 2011 06:04 PM

SF Chapel Surviving The Tide

Sioux Falls, SD


A Sioux Falls place of worship is recovering after major water damage this weekend.  A malfunctioning sprinkler flooded the Jerstad Center Chapel at the Good Samaritan Society.

For a place of worship, the sounds of hymns have been replaced by fans and generators.

"It was just very disappointing to see all this water and all the devastation that had happened with it," Kathy Thomas of the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society said.

Saturday night, this sprinkler suddenly burst, covering the grounds of the chapel with knee-high water. Furniture now sits on top of styrofoam, trying to dry out.

"They say that they rarely malfunction, but once in a while, something mechanical does go wrong with it," Thomas said. "It wasn't because it was too hot or it was too cold in the area. It just decided to malfunction and let out thousands of gallons of water."

This particular chapel isn't very big, but church officials say it provides a lot for the public.

"People feel like it's a place to escape the busyness and stress of their work," Pastor Greg Wilcox said. "It has become just a nice place to be and to sit and to have some private time."

Even though it'll be a while before anyone can use this chapel again, people at the Jerstad Center say they're thankful it wasn't worse.

"I'm glad there wasn't a real fire because that would have been devastating," Rev. Wilcox said. "With the water, I think we can dry out most of the items that were affected."

And in time, the chapel will be restored, while the sounds of fans will be drowned out.

A church group that normally uses the chapel for Sunday service wasn't scheduled to be there this past weekend.  The Good Samaritan Society hopes to get everything dried out over the next couple of weeks
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