Lightning strikes church; cars crushed on Cleveland's west side

CLEVELAND - Wednesday night's storms caused widespread damage. Once the sun came up in Cleveland's Detroit/Shoreway neighborhood, it was hard to turn a corner without finding branches down or a broken awning.

"It was fast, it was furious, it just came up all of a sudden like the earthquake did the other day," Bill Robertson said.

Robertson lives at the corner of W. 58th and Franklin. The view from his front porch Thursday morning was a giant tree blocking Franklin. Across the street, the same tree had crushed a couple of cars. That damage and more caused Franklin to be closed from W. 58th to W. 65th for several hours.

About a mile away, at W. 70th and Detroit, Christy Williams spent her night watching damage happen to Our Lady of Mount Carmel church across the street from her apartment.

"It was like a lightning strike," Williams said. "I saw it three times and then about a half hour later, I saw the fire truck and the smoke coming from the back of the church.

The church has a five-foot hole in its roof surrounded by burnt shingles. It looks like lightning hit. Two telephone poles are leaning into the building as well.

"You see it all the time in other communities," Robertson said. "But when it hits the area close to you, it makes you really feel about what the other people went through."

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