Powerful winds rip off roof to church in Huntington, WV - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Powerful winds rip off roof to church in Huntington, WV

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Strong winds ripped off the roof and steeple at Open Door Baptist Church in Huntington, WV. Strong winds ripped off the roof and steeple at Open Door Baptist Church in Huntington, WV.
HUNTINGTON, WV -

Powerful winds and heavy rain blew through the area Friday.

In West Huntington, the winds were so strong, they ripped off a roof and steeple at Open Door Baptist Church on Madison Avenue.

Dan Houdyschell said he heard the storm roll through.

"Just a lot of wind around 2 a.m.; garbage cans flying and stuff like that," he said.

Steve Wayne is a pastor at Celebration Church, which is just across the street from the damage.

"I couldn't believe when I saw that their roof is in the road and the steeple; I can't imagine the damage that's been done inside," he said.

Authorities were forced to shut down a portion of West 19th Street until the debris can be cleaned up from the road. It could be several days before it's reopened.

Chase Ward is an estimator for Classic Construction.   He was called to assess the damage a few hours after it happened.  He said the primary roof is gone and the secondary roof underneath is heavily damaged.   The basement is flooded with four inches of standing water, he said.   Some of the ceilings have also started to buckle and collapse.  Ward said it will take months to fix.

"You're pretty much building another structure," Ward said.

Neighbors are glad no one was hurt.

"I didn't realize it was this bad. I'm sure we will try to get in touch with someone from the church to see if there's anything we can do for them," said Skip Bailey.

Contractors estimate the damage to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.