A thunderstorm moved through the area and dealt a devastating blow to the Tallassee Community Library on Wednesday, Sept. 8.
The library was struck by a bolt of lightning that not only fried some of the facility's electronic equipment inside the building but also left the chimney in pieces with bricks scattered across the lawn and a nearby roadway.
"It hit the metal cap on top of the chimney on the northside, and knocked out a lot of bricks," Chairman of the Tallassee Community Library Board Bob Reed said.
The lightning's energy was so powerful that it launched bricks into the road in front of the library.
"It knocked bricks all the way out into Freeman Avenue," Reed said. "Just over 150 feet away."
The incident happened just around 6 p.m. There were two claps of thunder reported in the area, one just before 6 p.m. and the other just after 6 p.m., according to Reed. The library closes at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
"Fortunately, no one was hurt," Reed said.
It appears that the only damage inside the library was to the two modems that had to be replaced.
"There was no damage inside that we can see," he said.
While a lightning strike is rare, it can be deadly. Reed said he is thankful that no one sustained injuries and there was no additional damage to the building or the area around it.
"All in all, we were very fortunate that no one was hurt, that the building didn't catch fire, and there's no internal damage that we can see. The modems were knocked out, but there was no apparent damage to the computers."
Technicians with Alabama Supercomputer repaired the modems the following day and the library was able to reopen Thursday.
"We were back up and running by that afternoon," Reed said.
The chimney is covered with a tarp to protect from rain and other elements until repairs are made.