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Thunderstorm damages Ocracoke’s United Methodist Church

Church without cross after storm. Photo: C. Leinbach

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By Peter Vankevich

The steeple of the Ocracoke United Methodist became an unintentional lightning rod Friday night when it got struck by lightning in a thunderstorm and the wooden cross was shattered.

A portion of cross on ground. Photo: C. Leinbach

The bolt probably struck between 9:30 and 10 p.m., said Pastor Richard Bryant, but the damage was not discovered until Saturday morning.  The wooden cross on the steeple was shattered and in pieces on the ground.

Fortunately, it did not cause a fire, but the church’s electrical system, including the organ and phone lines, was damaged.  Church officials are still assessing the damage.

At Sunday morning’s church service, all singing was done using the church’s  piano

Dark clouds and thunder started building up around 7 p.m. and rain began a little after 8 p.m.

The rains got stronger and lightning was seen in the immediate area, peaking before 10 p.m.

Lightning on Ocracoke Friday evening, July 7. Photo: Jeremy Piland

The Ocracoke United Methodist Church on School Road. Photo: C. Leinbach