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Water Main Ruptures After Lightning Strikes LI Steeple

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St. Agnes Church (Photo/Mona Rivera)

St. Agnes Church (Photo/Mona Rivera)

MonaRivera Mona Rivera
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Authorities said the steeple of a church on Long Island was struck by lightning during the height of Wednesday night’s storm sparking a water main break.

The lightning struck the top of St. Agnes Church in Rockville Centre around 7:20 p.m. and traveled to the ground underneath Clinton Avenue rupturing an 80-year-old water main.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with residents who heard the lightning strike the steeple

“It was just blown out of the bottom in the middle of the pipe too, it wasn’t at a joint or anything like that,” Rockville Centre Water Department Superintendent Anthony Iannone said.

Rockville Centre Mayor Mary Bossart said a three-inch hole was blown out in the water main.

Residents were shook up after the incident. “My friend and I heard this big explosion and we were so scared,” one woman said.

The water was turned back on early Thursday after it was shut off so repairs could be made to the pipe.  A spokesman for the church said the church itself is fine, but the organ and some electrical equipment were damaged by the strike.

The lightning and thunder that accompanied Wednesday night’s storm were part of a phenomenon called “thundersnow” which is extremely rare.



Snap a few pictures? Send your storm photos to  news@CBSNewYork.com

SEE: Photos from This Storm

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