Corroding Stops Church and Cars

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

January 21, 2005
The chlorine has destroyed property close to the accident site. News 12 found out some people have to make different plans this Sunday.

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church has a front row seat to the Graniteville accident site.

“We weren’t able to get in at all until maybe Tuesday this week,” said Otis Melton, church member.

The chlorine has gotten to things. An inside once filled with brass now holds orange and green candleholders, crosses and alter.

The offering plates are also corroded, but ones covered up during the leak still shine. The organ may need some parts replaced, along with the air-conditioning system.

But overall it’s minor damage considering how close the church is to the tracks.

“A lot of people have come in and looked at it since we opened up and they’re pleasantly surprised,” Melton said.

St. Paul’s will be cleaned over the weekend and should be in use by next Sunday.

“A good cleaning never hurt anybody,” Melton said.

But cleaning won’t help most of the cars in Avondale Mills’ parking lots. The chlorine greened hubcaps. But the worst damage can’t be seen: corroded engines, ruined wiring and destroyed computer systems. Dozens of cars are totaled.

Marshall Brown is waiting to find out the fate of his Volvo.

“I’ve had to get a rental car and go every couple days to the claims office and get them to compensate me for it,” Brown said.

A hassle for everyone trying to get their property and lives back to the way things were.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is meeting at St. James’ Lutheran Church in Graniteville on Sundays. They’ll meet there again this Sunday, but are planning to be back in their building the following Sunday.


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