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Tropical Storm Isaias rips steeple off historic chapel in New Jersey beach town

Tropical Storm Isaias rips steeple off historic chapel in New Jersey beach town

Tropical Storm Isaias rips a steeple off of the front of the Central Ocean City Union Chapel in Ocean City, New Jersey, on Aug. 4, 2020. | Screenshot: ABC6.com

The strong winds from Tropical Storm Isaias, which has left millions across the East Coast without power and has taken the lives of at least eight people, knocked the steeple off of a historic chapel in Ocean City, New Jersey, on Tuesday morning.

WPVI reports that the steeple that was sitting on top of the interdenominational Central Ocean City Union Chapel was ripped off the church building around 11:30 a.m. as the area felt the effects of the tropical storm that hit the northeast region on Tuesday.

A video posted online by Action News’ Julianna Torres shows the white steeple being ripped from its position at the top-front of the chapel and then sliding down the church’s sloped roof, as onlookers watched in shock. 

“Oh my God,” one onlooker said in the video as others shouted. 

The Central Ocean City Union Chapel was founded in the early 1900s to serve vacationing ministers. Funds for the building and the property were raised by Christian ladies of the community who held Strawberry Festivals and sold ice cream during the summer seasons, according to the chapel’s website

A group of five women, consisting of both cottagers and residents, incorporated the chapel as a nonprofit organization in September 1915. The chapel’s corner lot at 32nd Street and Central Avenue was bought on Sept. 20, 1915. The building was completed and opened to the community in August 1916. 

Today, a board of trustees that consists of mostly laypeople continues to provide worship and study for those vacationing in the beach town. The chapel is supported through free will offerings. 

The Christian Post reached out to the chapel for comment. A response is pending. 

The chapel is far from the only victim of Tropical Storm Isaias. 

According to the New York Police City Department, 60-year-old Queens man Mario Siles was found inside of a 2014 Dodge van "with trauma about the head and body” after a tree fell on top of his car. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Delaware State Police told CNN that an 83-year-old woman was found Tuesday under a large branch in a pond near her home. 

In Southern Maryland’s St. Mary’s County, a driver was killed Tuesday morning when a tree fell on his car. According to the Baltimore Sun, it took rescuers several hours to extract the driver’s body from the car.  

In Naugatuck, Connecticut, a man was killed Tuesday afternoon by a falling tree when he got out of his car to move debris, local police told NBC Connecticut

Early Tuesday morning, a tornado-ravaged a mobile home park in Bertie County, North Carolina, killing at least two people, according to a county official. 

A driver in Allentown, Pennsylvania, died after he was swept away during the storm Tuesday, according to the Lehigh County Coroner's Office. 

In New Hampshire, a woman was found dead inside her house after it was crushed by a tree, according to police. 

In Cape May County New Jersey, across the bay from Ocean City, a tornado struck down reportedly pushing cars together, causing property damage and forcing trees to topple, WPVI reported. 

According to PowerOutage.us, over 2.4 million homes are without power as of Wednesday afternoon, including nearly 850,000 homes in New Jersey. As of late Tuesday, as many as 3.7 million customers suffered from power outages. 

Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, on Monday but was downgraded to a tropical storm Tuesday. 

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