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Lightning hits 2 Idaho Falls landmarks, thunderstorms topple trees and snap power poles

Idaho Falls is cleaning up Monday after a series of severe thunderstorms moved through the area over the weekend.

At least two buildings were hit by lightning. The chimney on the ARTitorium downtown was hit at about 9:15 p.m. Saturday and just a few minutes later the clock tower at Taylor’s Crossing was also struck.

No one was in the ARTitorium at the time, but next door at the Destinations Inn, the guests had to be evacuated while firefighters made sure the buildings were safe.

According to Georgiana Goodlander, the Visual Arts Director for the Idaho Falls Arts Council, the ARTitorium re-opened Monday.

“We are opening for business, as usual, today, this evening with our family fun art night at 5:00. We’ve deemed the interior to be safe, and we are keeping the back cordoned off for right now until we can make sure that the chief is absolutely safe and no more bricks are going to fall,” Goodlander said. “From the front of the building and the interior of the building is absolutely fine.”

Both the ARTitorium and Destinations Inn had damage to alarm systems, electrical systems and internet services because of the massive power of the lightning. They have crews working on those things and expect to have everything working by Monday night.

The clock tower at Taylor’s Crossing will also undergo repairs. It was hit at exactly 9:17 p.m. and the clock is stopped at that time. The lightning blew a hole in the face of the clock.

High winds also caused damage throughout the area. Wind gusts of close to 60 miles per hour hit Idaho Falls Friday night blowing over trees and snapping power poles. Crews from Idaho Falls Power and Rocky Mountain Power were working on repairing the damage Monday.

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