When heavy rains unleashed a torrent of rock, mud, water and debris down the slopes of Mount Meeker the chapel would need that strength to simply survive.
“Everyone is agreeing that this was of biblical proportions,” said Brenda Brown, a parishioner at the chapel.
The slide cut a path a quarter-mile wide through the valley, taking with it boulders and snapping large trees. The area was heavily forested before the slide. After it passed, the area was clear cut.
“The power of the water was terrifying,” Brown said.
When the slide reached the bottom of the valley it had taken everything in its path, everything save for the Chapel on the Rock. The water, mud and debris reached the rock and then went around it.
While the valley is a scene of destruction the chapel is undamaged. There is no mud or water damage to the interior of the historic chapel.
The chapel also holds historical significance because it was visited in 1993 by Pope John Paul II. The pope spent the day there and hiked trails nearby. A sign was erected at the trailhead that reads, “John Paul II Trailhead.” A likeness of the pope is painted on the wood post.
That sign and painting escaped damage while just a few feet away trees were torn out of the ground by the slide.
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