UPDATE: Hutch church surrounded by water has none in building

David Burke


UPDATE: Good news from Hutchinson's Mitchell Chapel.

Despite floodwaters surrounding the church, there is no water inside the building.

"It appears that water came within a couple feet of both the east side and the west side doors," the church's pastor, the Rev. Jeff Goetzinger, wrote in an email. "Now my hope is to mobilize my congregation to be host/hostesses and open our church for those in the area to take a break from cleanup, a place to talk, and also a place to pray."

Mitchell Cemetery, adjacent to the church, had sand and sediment on headstones and at the back of the property. The parsonage, about a half-mile away, did not suffer damage.

FROM THURSDAY: Flash flooding in south central Kansas has left a church north of Hutchinson surrounded by water.

Flood waters have overtaken Mitchell Chapel, north of Hutchinson. Photo by the Rev. Jeff Goetzinger
Mitchell Chapel appears engulfed in water from the nearby Cow Creek, in pictures taken by the church’s pastor, the Rev. Jeff Goetzinger.

“We don’t know if it’s gotten into the church yet, but we’ve been told by other members of the church that (water has) never gotten into the church,” Goetzinger said on Oct. 11.

Cow Creek started flooding two days earlier, he said. A diversion canal behind the church, which flows water into the Arkansas River, flooded on Wednesday.

“It’s proceeded to continue to rise,” Goetzinger said.

By Wednesday night, water had overtaken 56th Avenue, the east-west road by the church. The crest of Cow Creek so far is 12.9 feet, the highest in memory, Goetzinger said.

“They’re predicting the water won’t stop receding until sometime tomorrow,” he said.

The church is in a flood plain, Goetzinger said, but he was uncertain if the church carried flood insurance.

Sunday services for Mitchell Chapel will take place at the Elliott Mortuary in Hutchinson, he said.

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