Bolt From the Blue

Voice Card  -  Volume 20  -  John Card Number 20  -  Mon, Jun 10, 1991 7:48 PM

From the Helena, MT Independent Record, June 9, 1991:


BILLINGS (AP) - Could it be the lightning bolt that struck the steeple of St. Patrick's Cathedral on Saturday was a sign from above to Erik and Linda Homme?

Just after the couple finished reciting their wedding vows at 8 p.m., the lightning hit.

"It was loud," said Linda, of Billings, as she stood on the steps of the church, holding the hem of her dress up in one hand and holding onto her new husband with the other. "The power flickered off before that, then it came back on."

Right after the lightning struck, Erik, of Miles City, said he heard sirens as the fire trucks rushed to the church.

But the ceremony continued after a brief pause, and no one really knew what happened until they came outside and saw the firefighters.

Then, disbelief was on the faces of the wedding-goers as they looked up at the steeple.

"It was right after she said her vows," said Linda's sister, Heidi Homme, who drove all the way from California for the wedding. "There were little kids crying. It was very, very loud."

No one was injured by the lightning, and no fire resulted. But two holes were blown open in the steeple, which towers 120 to 130 feet above the ground.

The blast ripped through shingles and the plywood underneath about 20 to 25 feet down the steeple. Shingles and debris were scattered around the sidewalk and on the street as wedding participants and spectators came out of the church.