ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Pastors at an Albuquerque church say they’re without a place of worship since their building was flooded with sewage.
“We started smelling something, what smells?” said Claudia Baca-Moore.
“Water and raw sewage was coming out of the toilets, just gushing out of the two toilets in the auditorium,” said Wyatt Moore.
Claudia Baca-Moore and her husband, Wyatt, are pastors at Glorybound Ministries near Menaul and Juan Tabo.
In their two decades at the church, they’ve never experienced anything like this.
“We’ve been walking in and out of this building for 20 years and to look at it just full of water, it just impossible to think of,” said Wyatt Moore.
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority says the problem started with a tree and a sewage line near the church.
“Tree roots had grown into the sewer line and were causing a blockage of the sewer line,” said David Moore with the Water Authority.
As crews were trying to clear the blockage, “Apparently the sewage also backed up into a church that’s nearby that location,” said Moore.
Wyatt Moore says he’s relieved he and his wife are not to blame for the mess.
“The Water Authority has taken responsibility for it and they said they would do all the restoration needed,” said Wyatt Moore.
The Water Authority says they are going to foot the bill for damages.
“We’re working with the church to try to get the situation resolved,” said Moore.
At the end of the day, Baca-Moore has faith it will all work itself out.
“I know that we’re going to be okay, ultimately,” she said.
Sewage lines are checked on every five years and this particular line was last looked at four years ago. The Water Authority says it has no plans to check them more often after this incident.
The church still expects to have service on Friday and Sunday, they’re just not sure yet where they will be.