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Flood waters rise near Samoa temple

Heavy rain causes flooding in Church Service Center

SHARE Flood waters rise near Samoa temple

Missionaries and members in Apia, Samoa, are still cleaning up following severe flooding that, on Feb. 5, damaged the Church's school, Latter-day Saint meetinghouses and the Church's Service Center on the Pacific island and encroached on the new Apia Samoa Temple, dedicated last fall.

No members or missionaries were hurt in the widespread flooding, caused when Tropical Cyclone Vaianu buffeted Samoa and brought torrential rains. During the storm, more than 12 inches of rain fell in less than 48 hours — a larger amount than fell during the entire previous month.

The flooding damaged many buildings and roads throughout the island nation, flooded Church-owned homes and apartments, and sent Church members sandbagging to prevent damage to other Church facilities, according to Uele Vaaulu, national director public affairs.

"It was a marvelous sight to behold," said Michael Carter, finance manager of the Samoa Service Center. "The Distribution Center, CES School and other functions were back in service one week after the flood and the work of the Church continues without interruption."

President Suau'uapaie K. Pe'a reported there was no damage to the Apia Samoa Temple. However, he had 4 inches of water in his own home.

The temple was closed for cleaning when the flooding began. The storm, with flood water that went right to the front steps of the temple, delayed the opening of the temple.

"This is probably the largest rainfall we have had in many, many years," said Paul B. Price, president the Samoa Apia Mission. "Some said they have never seen a flood like this."

President Price and his wife, Sister Christine W. Price, said missionaries gave countless hours of service cleaning up from the flood, pulling carpet from damaged Church property.

"The people have bounced back and that has been good," said President Price.

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