The ceiling, the San Pedro church sanctuary, suffered the worst damage.
Photo: Saint Peter’s church / Courtesy
NY.– The leaders and parishioners of the Church of San Pedro, located on the corner of East 54th Street and Lexington Avenue, were dismayed by the serious damage left by a flood caused by the rupture of a main water pipe, in the Tuesday morning.
The break occurred just below the plaza shared by the church, Citigroup Center and the subway entrance at the corner of 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue.
The water gushed in with such intensity that the sanctuary was flooded within minutes, destroying a piano, an organ, much of the documentation, many of which had historical value. The flood also knocked down the ceiling and some walls and destroyed everything that was in the basement, said Pastor Fabián Arias.
“The losses are huge. We are trying to assess what can be salvaged, but practically everything is destroyed. It will be necessary to redo the entire electrical and heating system of the church, and it will also be necessary to rebuild the theater, ”said Arias.
The pastor called the situation “catastrophic” and added that he fears that the insurance will not cover the full intensity of the damage.
Several crews of workers continued to evacuate the water from inside the church until noon on Tuesday. The water level reached more than 3 feet high, according to the marks that could be seen on the walls.
Meanwhile, the city confirmed there was a break in the main water line on Lexington Avenue, adding that the church should file an insurance claim with the comptroller’s office.
‘It is an unexpected test’
In a message to the faithful via the church’s Facebook page, Senior Pastor Jared Stahler regretted announcing that the temple will be closed for a time.
The Nevelson Chapel and the church offices on the top floor have not been affected by this event. Stahler further reported that the church is not sure its insurance will cover the costs, but is nonetheless beginning the claims process.
“It has been a challenging year for our congregation and we know this is mortifying news for our community. Even as we wait for more information and begin to understand the repairs that will be needed, we are grateful for the resilience of the San Pedro Church family. These unexpected tests always bring out the best in our community. Together, as the body of Christ that we are, we will move forward with hope and perseverance, ”wrote Pastor Stahler.
While the insurance arrangements are being made, the pastor acknowledged that donations are being requested from the community to help defray the expenses.
St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded on June 2, 1862, by a group of German immigrants, and has since served the parishioners of that area of downtown Manhattan.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.