MUNSTER | Sunday’s strong winds destroyed one of the town’s landmarks, the large metal cross that for years sat atop a multi-story tower in front of St. Thomas More Church.
Munster Police and public works personnel were called to the church, 8501 Calumet Ave., Sunday morning because the cross was swaying in the wind gusts, said James Knesek, public works director and Munster fire chief.
“The cross was totally ruined. The gusting winds snapped the brackets that held the cross (to the top of the tower),” said the Rev. Michael Yadron, pastor of St. Thomas More Parish.
The welds that joined the cross's upright part or stipes and cross bar called the patibulum apparently also came apart in the strong sustained winds, according to Munster Police Chief Steve Scheckel.
A welder was on site Sunday, but he couldn’t get up on the tower, which is one of the tallest structures in Munster, because the winds made it too dangerous, Knesek said.
“We cordoned off the area in case it fell,” he said.
On Monday, the cross was safely removed by a welder using a crane lift, according to Knesek.
A new cross is being created and will be placed on top of the tower when completed, Yadron said.