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Stafford Tornado Doesn’t Dampen Spirits

The tornado that tore through Stafford Township earlier this week, may have caused damage to a church and school.  But spirits still remain high regardless of what Mother Nature just threw at a community still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.

Tornado damage to the grounds of Manahawkin Baptist Church
Tornado damage to the grounds of Manahawkin Baptist Church (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)
Tornado damage to the roof of Manahawkin Baptist Church
Tornado damage to the roof of Manahawkin Baptist Church (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

About 80 volunteers have come out to lend a helping hand with the cleanup at the Manahawkin Baptist Church and Lighthouse Christian Academy.  Tuesday’s storm played havoc with the roof, the electric and lots of trees on the property.

Tree service workers and electric utility crews were on the scene yesterday continuing their extensive work.  The incident caused thousands of power outages in South Jersey and hundreds in Manahawkin.

Three of the 20 classrooms inside the school will have to be gutted after the roof collapsed and caused water to pour in.  When they got inside once the clouds cleared, four inches of water remained.  The church itself suffered severe damage inside the sanctuary.  Thankfully, no one was injured.

Jim Goganzer is Children’s Director at the church and a school teacher at the Academy.  He says “God was definitely watching over them and we believe he left us a sign.  One of the pieces of debris that ended up on the roof of the church was in the shape of a cross.  Can you imagine that?  Wow.”

As of now, the total costs of the damages are unknown.  Some have already expressed interest about making a monetary donation.

Anyone who would like to donate items or help with cleanup can call 609-597-3915 for more information.

Tornado damage to the grounds of Manahawkin Baptist Church
Tornado damage to the grounds of Manahawkin Baptist Church (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

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