Barrington's 'White Church' survives Sandy

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The cleanup from Monday’s storm is underway around Barrington including the “White Church” on County Road.

At the peak of last night’s high tide storm surge, water extended out beyond the Barrington Congregational Church parking lot, across County Road. Senior minister Jeff Larsen said he tried to drive up to the church around 8:30 p.m. but couldn’t make it in. He had to walk in through knee-deep water instead.

Rev. Larsen said the high tide brought water into the church’s lower floor, which includes a meeting room, a rehearsal space for the choir and a small kitchen though the damage left after the water receded wasn’t too severe. The second floor sanctuary, for example, was fine and the adjacent offices were spared any damage.

Rev. Larsen said the church was in-tune with forecasts and made sure everything of value was up off the floor.

“We’re in good shape,” he said Tuesday afternoon, adding the water level stayed about three feet short of a marker signifying water height from a 1938 hurricane.

“We knew it was coming.”

Outside of the church, Rev. Larsen said the cleanup effort will extend to the parking lot, which was littered with debris following the storm surge. Rev. Larsen said a couple of Boys Scout groups use the church as a meeting facility and perhaps they could lend a hand to tidying up the parking lot.

 

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.