Hope City Church in Duluth, located at at 417 North 3rd Avenue East, suffered damage Saturday night after it was struck by lightning and now the City of Duluth is closing a portion of East 5th Street in order to protect the public.

Our media partners at WDIO-TV reported the lightning strike occurred at approximately 7:45 p.m. on August 28, causing an estimated $185,000 in damage. During the storm, one of the church's two steeples took a direct hit which reduced it to it's frame.

Due to that damage, the City of Duluth is closing a portion of the street near the downtown Duluth church as it could be dangerous for the public to be near the church in its current state.

On Monday evening, the City began closing the roadway on East 5th Street from the intersection of 3rd Avenue East to approximately 224 East 5th Street.

“Due to the instability of the structure, the City is closing off the street for public safety reasons,” Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj said. “We have been in contact with Pastor Mark, and the church will be further evaluating the structure tomorrow.”

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The portion of the street will be closed to all traffic until further notice.

While the street and the church itself may be closed, that didn't stop the congregation from gathering to worship outside on Sunday, August 29, the very next day after the lightning strike.

I think it's safe to assume that wherever Hope City Church is able to hold service moving forward, church members will right there with them the entire way.

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