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Lightning causes $40,000 in damage to Newport municipal building

NEWPORT — Damage from the lighting strike that hit the Newport Municipal Building on Sunapee Street on June 24 will cost around $40,000 to fix, Town Manager Paul Brown said last week.

The cost is expected to be covered by the town’s insurance company, which has already paid out $20,000 toward repairs.

Brown he was one of several employees in the building when the lighting struck, blowing a 8-inch by 12-inch hole in the roof.“There was one rumble of thunder between Newport and Claremont and then there was just a big boom. We got a little bit of rain, then it stopped,” Brown said.The hole in the roof is yet to be repaired and has been temporarily sealed with plexiglass.
The building took a direct hit, Brown said. The lightning traveled down a chimney that had some network cabling attached so work station computers, routers, alarm and phone systems were affected.

The back-up generator, as well as the alarm system, had to be replaced as well as many phones and desktop computers, Brown said.
Thankfully the strike did not cause a fire or harm anyone, Brown said.

“We are so lucky it didn’t burn because it could have been so much worse,” Brown said. “It made us really think about disaster planning and what we would do if a disaster happened.”

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