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Monday, June 8, 2015
Officials believe that concrete that fell onto Locust Street late Sunday night did so because of the weather. The stones, which are stacked at right, damaged the canopy to the 21st Amendment. (SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)

By +Scott Leffler

Whether it was struck by lightning or pounded by pouring rain remains up for debate but officials seem inclined to believe that concrete pieces falling off the F&M Building shortly before midnight Sunday was due to the weather.

"Chances are water got behind there over the winter, froze and pushed that out," City Building Inspector Jason Dool said this afternoon. "It didn't appear that it was related to lightning."

Jon George, owner of the 21st Amendment — the sole occupant of the five-story building — said he believes lightning was the culprit. 

"They actually think it was struck by lightning, but there's not any way to prove that," he said.

One thing everyone agrees on is that they're glad no one was hurt. The falling concrete, however, did damage the canopy over the stairs to 21st Amendment.

Dool said the pieces that came loose in the storm do not appear to be structural and that the building — and Locust Street — will be able to be reopened soon.

How soon, though, is the question.

"As long as we can get the loose stuff down, it shouldn't be a problem moving forward," Dool said. "We'll let 'em open before they re-install (the concrete)."

George said he anticipates re-opening his basement-level bar on Wednesday at the earliest.


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