Church flooded; volunteers pitch in to clean muddy mess

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- An Ahwatukee church got hit hard in Monday's storms, and a big cleanup is now underway.

Mountain Park Community Church at 24th Street & Pecos Road saw the water actually rise above the chairs. The auditorium where church services are held is said to have been full of water.

"The only thing that was really standing and solid in our auditorium was our cross," says Lani Willbanks, Mountain Park Community Church.

The flooding is making for a massive cleanup, and close to 75 volunteers rallied Monday afternoon to help clean up the mud and debris left behind.

A wash that runs behind the church crested during Monday morning's historic rainfall, sending water cascading into the church.

Church staffers then began pumping the water out, but a muddy mess was left behind.

The church put out word over social media that help was needed. And soon, volunteers showed up, buckets and brooms in hand, to help clean up the damage.

"This community always responds with compassion and grace and excitement, so when the call was put out, it's not surprising that people show up," says Willbanks.

Even with all the help, there is still more work to be done. Church officials also plan to build a sandbag retaining wall outside just in case it rains like this again.