Storm Dislodges Church Steeple

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JACKSON TOWNSHIP -- Plenty of people are still without power as they pick up the pieces from the damage Monday's storm left behind.

St. Martin of Tours Parish in Susquehanna County is still standing after the storm, but it is at risk of a lot more damage after its steeple dislodged from high winds.

"If you get a good gust of wind, you can hear it creaking, so it's moving a little bit," said Fr. David Cramer.

"You could hear the wind moving it and creaking noises, so makes you feel strange," said pastoral associate Victoria Mulligan.

The steeple sways a couple of inches when you get a good gust of wind and sits on a slant right now.

Now, church leaders are waiting for a crane to come and take it off before it takes off on its own.

Plans for this weekend's First Holy Communion are up in the air; it's all a question of when the steeple comes down.

"We're in a little bit of a race against time and weather here I think," Cramer added.

"It's kind of sad to me to see it in destruction like this and to look at old pictures of when it was put up," Mulligan added.

"We're hoping they get it fixed so we don't have to do something drastic with our church," said Betty Kwader, who first attended the church when she was 8 years old.

A crane crew is expected to make its way out to the church this weekend to properly remove the steeple. Church leaders have cancelled this weekend's mass and ask parishioners to attend one at their neighboring parishes in Great Bend or Susquehanna.

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