by Max Brantley
That storm last night packed a punch. This note went out to members of Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church last night from Rev. Anne Armstrong Holcomb on Facebook:
Lightning apparently hit the chimney, shattering maybe the upper third of it and pretty much obliterating the SE corner of the bell tower. The alley and parking lot behind the church have chunks of bricks and plaster and mortar all over the 2nd floor exterior landing and parts of the sidewalk too. The attic has at least 6 visible holes in the roof meaning you can see the sky through them. The one place you can access the roof is inaccessible because of all the bricks and debris piled on top of it on the outside. The rafters are split or shattered in several places, and water was pouring into the attic and working it's way down through that end of the 4th floor, and the 3rd floor, and both sides of the choir loft in the sanctuary and the "water wall" in the sacristy. Phone lines fried, so elevator alarm is stuck. Thompson called ServPro, who have wet-vacced the areas and tarped the worst spot so that incoming water funnels into the buckets and trashcans we have set up. Fortunately it's about finished raining, so that's it for now till morning. Insurance has been alerted. Could have been a LOT worse, although this is certainly bad enough. The lightning apparently traveled through the water rather than our electrical lines, so THATs fortunate, and nobody was hurt.