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Lightning strikes Duluth church, causing $185k in damage

The damages will also result in multiple street closures near the church.
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A Duluth church sustained $185,000 worth of damages after it was struck by lightning Saturday night.

According to the Duluth Fire Department, crews were dispatched to Hope City Church at around 7:45 p.m. after the building had been reportedly been struck by lightning.

Firefighters did not see any smoke, but they did find a large amount of debris in front of the church on East 5th Street. The western steeple had also sustained significant damage and was reduced to its frame.

“Upon arrival, debris was scattered,” said DFD Assistant Chief Clint Reff in a statement. “It looked like a bomb had exploded.”

Damage to the roof had also impacted the church’s structural integrity.

Crews found that a water main had broken in the church due to the lightning, causing water to come down North 3rd Avenue East. The city is in the process of closing the street between East Fifth Street and East Fourth Street to repair the break.

The city will also close East 5th Street between North 3rd Avenue East and North 2nd Avenue East due to the debris and structural issues.

“The building will be uninhabitable until a structural engineer can determine if any part of the building can be used and what the plan will be to repair it,” said City of Duluth Building Official in a statement.

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