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Relying on faith

A red dumpster sits in the yard in front of the brick house where David and Debbie Schug live.

For the past few days that dumpster has collected furniture, bedding and several other items that were destroyed when two inches of water flooded the inside of the house early Wednesday morning.

“Debbie and I lost all kinds of stuff in there – furniture and you name it,” Schug said.

The pastor of Woodland Chapel Freewill Baptist Church for the past 25 years, Schug and his wife Debbie live in the church’s parsonage. The church and parsonage are located off of State Route 93 in the Kelley’s Bridge area. Besides the parsonage, the church’s basement and fellowship hall were also damaged in the flood.

A water line marks the house about 2-and-a-half feet high.

“The fire department tried to get us to leave,” Schug said. “But we went ahead and stayed because we didn’t know what we were going to have to do.”

The water also destroyed the Schugs’ three cars.

The damage to the church property is especially hard to take considering that the congregation had just recently made repairs to the fellowship hall after floodwaters damaged it in May.

After the May flood, the church put $11,000 into repairs. It also recently took out a $10,000 flood insurance policy on the fellowship hall.

“We didn’t think it would ever get into the house, but we were prepared to redo the fellowship hall,” Schug said.

Schug blames the flooding problems on tree limbs and debris that are causing Storms Creek to back up. Nearly a day and a half after the flood, a dead horse remained in the creek near the church Thursday afternoon. The animal was tangled in tree limb debris and trash where it washed up.

“They won’t clean the creek out,” he said. “It keeps backing up. It’s awful. You don’t know whether to fix it or not. You fix it and you’re liable to have to fix it again in two months.”

Roy Roach has never seen the flood damage this bad.

Roach has been a member of the church for the past year. An Ironton native, he recently retired from a job in South Carolina and moved back to the area.

“I’m from Ironton and I don’t remember the water ever being like this,” he said. “It’s sad that it just got cleaned up from the past one and it hit like this, but I’m sure there’s other people that got it worse than this.”

Over the past two days church members have been helping clean up the church’s property. Members have been spraying off mud from metal chairs and washing mud from the parking lot. Assistance has also come from other churches in the area.

“It’ll all work out in the wash,” Schug said.