Bulverde church damaged in overnight storm

Riverside Community Church sustains wind, flooding damage

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter, Luis Cienfuegos - Photojournalist

BULVERDE, Texas - Blowers hummed inside Riverside Community Church as church members dried the carpets and floors after finding the place of worship damaged by flooding early Monday.

"So we were walking around in a dark building, water spraying everywhere, with about 3 inches of water all throughout the church, which was really devastating," said senior pastor John Hinkebein.

The storm tore off portions of the roof and the entire porch on one side, Hinkebein said. He said he doesn't believe the majority of the flooding damage came from rain, but rather from a burst pipe in the nursery area. 

The pipe, which connected outside to the damaged porch area, burst open and sprayed everywhere, Hinkebein said. Sound equipment, furniture and toys were ruined by the water.

Church members arrived at the church at about 1:45 a.m. after learning of the damage through a police radio scanner, Hinkebein said. They spent all night pulling items out to salvage as much as possible. They also brought in a contractor to help with the cleanup.

The storm hit the church at an inopportune time. About 150 elementary school kids were supposed to arrive Monday morning for a sports camp that would last until Friday.

"So we pushed the start to 12:30 at a different location from some other friends in the community that graciously decided to host for us," Hinkebein said.

Although the total damage hasn't been tallied up yet, Hinkebein said the church officials know that dealing with it will take quite a while. In the meantime, the church will do what it can.

"We know buildings are important, but they're not the most important thing. It's just always important (that) people begin to gather. So our hope is that we'll gather here at this location on Sunday," he said.

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