Wayne community comes together after flood devastates church, nursery school

WAYNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- It has been a tough few days for members of a church in Passaic County after the building was devastated by flash flooding over the weekend.

Two feet of rain poured into the Packanack Church and Nursery School in Wayne, and now, the community is coming together to clean up the damage.

The young and the old are lending support and elbow grease after the flood, which destroyed most of what needs to be open in September to serve about 85 kids.

"In basement, we were five and a half feet, and throughout the whole main first floor of the building, there was at least six inches across," Kelly Schmitz said. "And it was water and mud."

About 60 volunteers have already shown up in old clothes ready to work.

"For us, it was throughout every classroom that we have," Schmitz said. "Our office, our furniture, preparation that the teachers had already prepared for for the start of school."

Pastor Karyn Ratcliff was proud of the turnout and hopeful for the future.

"Thank God, thank the Good Lord that the sanctuary was not touched," she said. "We have to replace carpeting, drywall, copier, furniture, filing cabinets, computers, everything."

The copier they used for church bulletins was $10,000, and that's also gone.

"Last Sunday's scripture reading was 'One's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions,'" she said. "So God taught us that lesson this week."

But still, she vows the church will persevere and that the school will open in September.

"In the midst of such disaster, it's just really heartening to see all of this fellowship and positive attitude and hope for the future," she said.
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