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Crews remove steeple which fell from a Virginia Beach church

The steeple has been wedged between the Galilee Church and the Holly Hill Apartments for about a week. Thursday morning, crews removed it.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A steeple ripped off of the Galilee Church in Virginia Beach is sitting in a new spot Thursday morning. 

Remnants of Hurricane Ian knocked it off the roof and wedged it between the church and Holly Hill Apartments.

Reverend Andrew Buchanan with Galilee Church couldn’t believe the phone call he received about the church’s steeple falling off the roof.

“We’ve had panels fall off of the steeple," he said. 

"So, I said ‘oh you mean panels.’ And my business administrator said ‘No, the steeple came off.’”

It fell on September 30. Buchanan says that night, weather conditions felt rough.

“Slate tiles were coming off that roof, fireballs were coming off these lines right behind us,” Buchanan said.

For almost a week, the steeple sat between the two buildings. 

Buchanan said the steeple's position didn't impact church operations, and that the church even held a wedding after the steeple fell. 

Thursday morning, a crew lifted the structure over the church and onto the parking lot.

“It was a very impressive process,” said Dean Rogers, the property manager of Holly Hill Apartments.

Crews moved that steeple in a matter of minutes, but the work here is far from over. 

The next part of the process is cleaning up the alleyway where parts of the steeple still remain. Rogers said he’ll that then he'll get a better understanding of what needs repairs.

“On the surface, it looks like it’s minor compared to what you would expect to see from something that size hitting a building,” Rogers said.

From what he could see, Rogers said newly placed gutters on the building are damaged. 

As he plans to get contractors on site, Reverend Buchanan said he and church leaders have to make a big decision on what to do with the steeple.

“You know how churches work," Buchanan said. "We’ll probably have to get a committee together and we’ll have to decide do we want to put this steeple back, another steeple back. What are we going to do? We’ll think about it.”

Buchanan said church leaders had to cover up the hole on the roof, and they are working to get it patched up soon.

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