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Flooding damages 25 Bethany apartments
Bethany lobby IMG_5777[21626].jpg
Rob Wagner and Cindy Schewblein talk with a construction worker outside their corporate office near the lobby of the Bethany Home facility.

Bethany Home residents – 19 in all — were moved out of their apartments after the mid-week storm dumped 3.5 inches of rain based on a rain gauge at the facility.

Bethany Chief Executive Officer Cindy Schewblein said it’s questionable whether Bethany has flood insurance that covers the damage having been told that if water had come through the roof they would have been covered but having it come in under the sliding glass doors probably not. She noted the losses are climbing daily as more carpet and drywall damage is discovered..

Schewblein said all of the displaced residents found lodging with family members with three exceptions two of whom moved to church member homes and one to a vacant apartment within the facility. 

Twenty-five apartments and offices were affected leaving a putrid smell throughout, she said, including the fireside room and chat room/computer room. The CEO said the carpet padding soaked up the water like a sponge.  And since the water was backing up from city storm drains it was determined to be contaminated as it flowed into apartments and residents’ closets within the first hour of the downpour.

The drywall in the apartments was also affected, she added, with much of it having to be replaced in the 19 apartment units that face the exterior courtyards. The facility was already in the middle of a restoration upgrade throughout the building where carpets will be replaced with tiles and walls painted a new color and new art works planned for the hallways.

Grace Moving Company has been boxing up all the residents’ personal items and will be putting them in POD storage containers outside the building on Monday until the restoration has been completed, the CEO said.  All the damaged carpeting will be pulled up by contractors for further assessment and discarded followed by the drywall contractors coming in to assess the needs of the soaked portions of the apartment walls. 

Bethany staffer Rob Wagner said the event has been very bonding for many of the residents seeing them hugging each other in the hallways amidst the confusing situation. He added that Bethany has been receiving a number of phone calls from concerned citizens offering their help. Wagner said he has placed a number of pictures on the Bethany website for the community to view. He said he and his children located a lost dog and were able to find its owner and return it home.  

The Bethany administration is currently formulating a communications plan to keep the residents informed on the progress in restoring the facility and letting them known when they will be welcomed back into their apartments.