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Church steeple damaged by lightning

Bogue Chitto Baptist Church leaders are assessing damage afterlightning struck the church’s steeple during a Tuesday afternoonstorm.

Bogue Chitto Volunteer Fire Department Capt. Rick Hambach saidlightning struck the steeple of the Bogue Chitto Baptist Church atapproximately 5:10 p.m., damaging the steeple’s interior, splittingits housing and blowing out a sideboard and shingles. Hambach saidsome boards were split and damaged beyond repair.

“The guts of the inside are torn in two, Hambach said. “But itdid not fall.”

Hambach said there was no fire at the church.

Church deacon Tommy E. Busby said the damage was not badcomparatively, adding that it “could have been way worse.”

“It shouldn’t take much to fix it,” he said. “It just broke afew boards, knocked a hole in the roof and broke some of theframing.”

Busby said Tuesday’s lightning strike also disabled one of thechurch’s air-conditioning units, but did not destroy it. He saidassessments of the damage to both steeple and machinery will bemade Wednesday and repairs will begin soon.