A small church in Maryland is still feeling the ramifications of the historic flash flood last July, with its remains still deemed structurally unsafe seven months later.
Last year's flash flood left the D.C. area drenched with almost 3.5 inches of rainfall in two hours. The Scotland African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Potomac suffered a lot of structural damage, which would cost nearly $600,000 to repair. The flood waters knocked down a cinder block wall, allowing water to come crashing in. To this day, the basement remains filled with water and there are cracks that could cause the whole church to collapse.
Community members from nearby churches, along with representatives from Montgomery County, state and federal government surveyed the property and determined that water comes down from the development above. In addition, the widening of Seven Locks Road a few years ago has the church sitting in a valley with inadequate water drainage, which contributed to the damage.
The church was built in 1915 and was one of the first places African Americans could own land after slavery was abolished. The church is on the historic registry in Montgomery County, which is why Councilman Andrew Friedson (D) promises to do something to help.
“This is a historical treasure that we gave in our community. We have to make sure that as a community we support it,” Friedson said.
The church currently holds services in a dance studio in Gaithersburg and churchgoers are praying to return to the original building soon.