Grove City church avoids major damage as tornado passes overhead

Local News

GROVE CITY, OH (WCMH) — The Grove City Church of the Nazarene was directly in the path of Tuesday’s tornado. There were about 100 people inside at the time, some of them students at the attached Grove City Christian School.

The power is still out and it’s dark inside but Homer McKnight knows every inch of the church. He was the architect and the builder. He’s also a member. 

“When I came on site, I cried,” McKnight says. 

But he soon felt blessed. The only real damage to the building was caused by flying debris.

“It wasn’t destroyed,” McKnight says. “It wasn’t structurally damaged. Everybody was safe. Nobody was hurt. I thought – Wow! This building took a direct hit. It was directly in the line of the tornado, 105 mph winds and we got superficial damage and a little bit of roof damage and I thought – I’m really proud of this building.”

Grove City Christian School, with about 620 students, remains closed for a lack of power and some roof damage. They hope to be able to reopen the school on Monday.

“We’re working feverishly to get the school back open,” McKnight said. “The idea is to get it cleaned up and safe and watertight and then when school’s out, we’ll come back and make the major repairs.”

McKnight says the church may bring in large portable generators in order to hold services this Sunday. AEP says they don’t expect to have power fully restored until sometime Sunday night. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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