Lightning strikes 94-year-old monastery chimney in Buffalo, knocks down trees

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)-  Thunderstorms with lightning caused problems for thousands of people Monday morning, mostly in Erie County. As many as 2,000 people lost power in Buffalo and Hamburg, and are still waiting for it to be restored. The power outages are impacting traffic signals as well, and police want drivers to remember to treat any intersections impacted as a four-way stops.    

nun chimney
94-year-old chimney damaged in lightning strike

Lightning struck the chimney of the Carmelite Monastery on Carmel Road in Buffalo, between Tacoma Avenue and Hertel Avenue, causing approximately $30,000 in damage, according to the Buffalo Fire Department.

The chimney, which was 94 years old, collapsed due to the lightning strike, and one of the bricks went through the roof, but no one was hurt.

The strike occurred during a chapel service about James and John, the sons of thunder, as part of a homily feast day observance.

nun chimney roof
View of damage from inside chapel

A lightning strike on Stephens Court in Lancaster knocked out power there for some residents for a time Monday morning, but no serious damage was reported.

Union Rd. under the Broadway viaduct flooded in Cheektowaga, forcing drivers to find another route. It was closed for a short time before the water drained and police re-opened the road.

evergreen tree down in w seneca
Evergreen tree split by lightning strike on Westfield Rd., West Seneca, N.Y.

Check back for updates on damage and power outages as the storm moves through. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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