Church repairs roof 3 years after hail storms

(WBIR-Seymour) Three years ago, deadly storms hit East Tennessee and much of the Southeastern U.S. with tornadoes, heavy rains and hail.

Those hail storms on April 27, 2011 were some of the worst East Tennessee has seen in years.

A church in Seymour is still dealing with repairs. Grace Baptist Church was hit with hail three years ago but did not realize the extent of the damage until later.

"It does leak directly above us... and a little around the edges, also. So we have leaks all over the place," said David Gibson, a member of Grace Baptist Church.

Youth Director Shane King added, "I have on many occasions been asked to find a trash can to go put inside our sanctuary. That's just something we've had to deal with."

The hail caused about $200,000 in damage to the church's roof. According to Rev. C. M. "Cotton" Kelly, insurance is covering half of the costs.

Many East Tennesseans have had to get their roof repaired twice because of shoddy work from other companies. Grace Baptist Church waited until a company they trusted became available.

"It's a big job. So excited, no. Relieved that we're finally getting it taken care of? Yes," Gibson said.

While the church is getting a permanent fix, some of its members are still mending their own homes from the hail.

Carl E. Flynn has replaced the roof on his home but the same can't be said for one of his family members.

"My son hasn't gotten his completed yet and he only lives about 300 yards from me," Flynn said.

According to Rev. Kelly, repairs to the roof started April 15. He expects construction to be complete within the next eight weeks.


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