NC church gets new steeple six months after tornado

LENOIR, NC (WBTV) - Plenty of storm damage can still be seen in the Mount Herman Community of Caldwell County six months after a tornado ripped through the area.

Trees are down and some homes are crushed, but one bit of damage has finally been fixed.

The Mt. Herman United Methodist Church lost its steeple to the storm, but the empty spot atop the building is not empty anymore.

"This is a long time coming," said Pastor Caren Morgan.

The new steeple had to be built in Kentucky. A crew arrived with it this week and installed it Thursday. It took several hours to ease the steeple in place. Eight long bolts were used to secure it. The crew said they didn't want this steeple going anywhere.

While it looks like the old one, it is far different. The old wooden one has been replaced by a steel and aluminum structure. It is clad in copper as the old one was but instead of a bell with a pull rope, the new one has an electronic chiming sound system. Church officials said insurance money picked up the tab.

Members were able to sign a metal pillar that was placed atop the new steeple. That pillar was used to anchor the new cross that adorns the steeple.

They hope people will see it for miles and will then know that the community is recovering from the tornado.

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