BELLEVILLE - Strong winds have created more damage to a historic Belleville church, which was already in a fragile state.
This is a safety concern in the neighborhood, as the surrounding area of the church has been blocked off. The dangling steeple atop the Old Reformed Church is swaying in the wind.
It has been damaged and hanging like that since Superstorm Sandy, but yesterday's strong winds sent planks that were supporting the steeple flying. They came crashing down onto Rutgers Street.
The congregation has been trying to raise money to fix the steeple for some time now. It has raised $20,000 of the $250,000 needed.
The community believes the church's historical significance makes it very important to save.
"It's really difficult to look at this. Really difficult. Because you got pieces flying off the church steeple that 200 years ago [was] the lookout [for] keeping an eye out for the Redcoats,” says Mike Perrone, of the Belleville Historical Society. “I could imagine them looking down now at that church steeple and shaking their heads."
The Belleville Historical Society and the pastor of the church have been trying to secure grant money, but haven't received it yet.