Bridges Church Recovering from Irma Damage

Bridges Covenant Church held worship services outside after sustaining water damage from Hurricane Irma.

TAVARES, FL (September 26, 2017) – Bridges Covenant Church in Tavares sustained water damage after Hurricane Irma estimated at $25,000, said pastor Eric Filkin. That is roughly the amount of the church’s insurance deductible.

Much of the damage to the carpeting and drywall occurred when the power went out, causing a nearby pumping station to stop working. Water then backed up into the church.

The power went out on September 10, but the congregation wasn’t able to get into the church to start cleaning for nearly a week. “As people eventually got their power back on, they brought their generators to the church so we could start vacuuming up the water,” Filkin said.

The church held its first worship service following the storm outside on September 17. It met inside the building this past Sunday.

Filkin said members were initially shell-shocked after the storm, but now there’s a level of anxiety as they consider what might happen if another large storm hits the area in the future.

Two weeks before Irma hit, the church began hosting a Spanish-speaking church plant, many of whom have family in Puerto Rico. Having seen what a hurricane can do in their own community, Bridges members have an even greater empathy for  the new congregation. Two recent hurricanes have devastated the island.

“We want to help them in any way we can,” Filkin said.

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Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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