Church struggles to fix steeple toppled by Hurricane Matthew

Updated:

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The pastor of a Florida church whose steeple was toppled by Hurricane Matthew says it's painful to see the storm's damage linger.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2hWM1f8 ) that the 25-foot steeple remains where it fell next to Historic New Bethel A.M.E. Church in Ormond Beach.

A blue tarp covers the hole it left in the roof. Services have continued, but the Rev. Phyllis Rose Brown said financing repairs has been difficult.

Brown said an insurance claim was denied, and government funding prioritized residential property.

Brown said repairs for the steeple and damage to three other church buildings would cost about $70,000. She has set up a GoFundMe page seeking donations.

Church trustee John Dunbar said the steeple was "like a beacon to us" but the church hadn't been prepared financially for the storm damage.

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Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com