A historic landmark, a water tower in Columbus, was struck by lightning on July 21, prompting city officials to evacuate two homes near the tower as they determined the structural integrity of the damaged tower.
Rod Melotte, a Columbus City Council member, said that the water tower was built in 1896 and the two homes were damaged when the lightning sent bricks flying. The main concern for the water tower is that its 30-ton steel tank could fall over, causing significantly more damage to the two surrounding homes. Melotte said the evacuation measures could hold out for weeks as structural engineers appraise the state of the tower.
Barricades have been erected to keep other citizens away from the scene and the Columbus Fire Department used a drone to look at the damage, rather than get close themselves. They’ve said that the water tower is no longer in use. The tower has some significance to the town and a review of the damage could be released late as officials wait to hear about insurance.
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