MADISON, SD (KELO) — A South Dakota church group that helps families in-need finds itself needing help in the aftermath of flooding.

Last month’s heavy rain flooded the basement at St. John Lutheran Church, and with it, hundreds of donated items from winter coats to children’s clothes. So now, volunteers will have to start from scratch to provide more necessities for their neighbors in-need.

Fans blowing 24-7 are part of the cleanup at St. John Lutheran Church after the basement filled with five-feet of water during last month’s storm.

“It’s depressing, because there was a lot down there and it’s gone. It was, I was not happy to hear about it,” Community Clothing Rooms volunteer Lynn Graves said.

The flooding ruined the donated supplies stored in the basement as part of the church’s ministry called Community Clothing Rooms, where six days a week, families could pick up winter gear, house wares and shoes they otherwise can’t afford.

“Everything was destroyed with the water, sewage and oil and we just needed to be safe and not save things there were lost there,” Pastor Elizabeth Pagnotta of St. John Lutheran Church said.

The community joined the congregation to remove all the flood-damaged donations from the basement.

The church is in a bind because it can’t accept any new donations for the Clothing Rooms until the basement is repaired, and that could be another two-months from now.

“We just don’t have the space to store things. The ministry that we have done in the basement has now had to move to other places in the church and so we just don’t have a place with all the things we’ve had to move around,” Pagnotta said.

But the church is confident the community will step up again so they can eventually restock and reopen these now-empty and damp basement rooms.

If you’d like to help pay for repairs to the basement, you can mail a check to the church:

St. John Lutheran Church
122 N. Grant Avenue
Madison, SD 57042

We will also have our Keep KELOLAND Warm distribution of winter coats at Montgomery’s Furniture in Madison on November 7th from 4-6 p.m.