The weather forecast for southern Indiana leading up to Friday had been showing a heightened risk for severe weather, and Mother Nature delivered on that forecast. Strong winds and heavy rain caused damage across the region, including western Vanderburgh County where a long-standing church had its roof completely removed.

Roof of St. Joe Church Torn Off by Severe Weather

The weather system entered the area in the early morning hours of Friday, dumping two-to-three inches of rain across the region. The second wave began just before noon Central Time and brought more rain and strong winds with it. As the line of storms moved across the area, it fired off several severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings for several counties in southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and western Kentucky, causing power outages along with several downed trees and utility poles. St. Joseph Church took some of the worst damage as the storms tore the entire roof off the top of the 135-year-old structure.

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Ted Glaser, a resident who lives near the church took pictures of the damage after the storms passed and was nice enough to let me share them here with you. Here's a look at the building from both sides.

Ted Glaser on Facebook
Ted Glaser on Facebook
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Ted Glaser on Facebook
Ted Glaser on Facebook
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After the storm tore the roof off, it threw it to the ground like a wadded piece of paper you throw in the trash.

Ted Glaser on Facebook
Ted Glaser on Facebook
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Ted Glaser on Facebook
Ted Glaser on Facebook
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A friend of mine from high school, Justin Guetling, also lives behind the church and sent me this picture of the view from his backdoor.

Justin Guetling
Justin Guetling
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Our media partner, Eyewitness News (ABC 25 and The CW 7) sent a crew to the site but were asked to keep their distance shortly after they arrived as people with the Church noticed long cracks in the steeple and were concerned the strong winds that continued well after the storms had passed would cause the steeple to break and fall either into the church or onto the ground. As of this writing, the steeple is still intact.

I have friends who went to school at St. Joe, some of which are still members of the church or have family members who are. Obviously, church services will have to be moved to another location for the foreseeable future, but thankfully no one was injured due to what happened. I have no doubt the parish will rebuild stronger than ever.

Thanks again to Ted and Justin for letting me share their pictures.

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