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Wind Damages Historic Detroit Church

DETROIT (WWJ) - A historic Detroit church may have to rebuild after weekend storms damaged part of the building.

The main steeple at St. Josaphat Church on Canfield Street, near I-75, now has a noticeable curve to it after Sunday's gusty storms.

Church leaders plan to hold a meeting Tuesday to determine that to do with the now-leaning steeple.

A demolition contractor, who didn't want to be named, told WWJ's Mike Campbell that from the ground, it looks like the steeple will have to be removed -- that is if it doesn't fall down first.

"We want to get up there and assess it first," the contractor said, adding that the steeple looks like a "banana."

The area surrounding the 112-year-old church is barricaded, blocking the intersection of Canfield Street and the Chrysler Freeway Service Drive from traffic. Officials say the precaution is necessary because the structure could fall into the street.

Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were tracked in the area during Sunday's storms, sweeping large branches and in many cases entire trees into power lines. As of Tuesday morning, 130,000 residents and businesses across metro Detroit remained without power. That's down from a high of 302,000 outages.

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