Officials in Evansdale believe a lightning strike damaged a monument dedicated to children who died too young, including two cousins who were kidnapped from the community and murdered six years ago.

According to Evansdale Park Board Chairman Tom Nichols, a bolt of lightning apparently hit Angels Park and struck the ground next to a bronze sculpture of kids climbing on a mountain.

“The lightning, once it struck, possibly picked-up some of the re-bar that’s in the concrete, traveled through that, and then blew it up in four different spots (around the monument),” said Nichols, as he surveyed the damage Thursday afternoon (May 10, 2018).

Scattered thunderstorms were moving across the area around 1:20 AM Wednesday. That's when several Evansdale residents heard an extremely loud “boom” and were jolted from their beds while sleeping. City officials are confident that lightning -- NOT vandals -- caused the damage at Angels Park, although they aren’t 100-percent certain.

“We had somebody who was down here the night before and said the damage wasn’t here,” Nichols said, standing next to the sculpture. “He came back the next day and reported it to us. So, we’re pretty sure it happened during the storm.”

Several large chunks of concrete were found around the monument and dirt was thrown in a northwest direction away from the sculpture, for several feet, on the adjacent sidewalk. Nichols doesn't know yet what it will cost to fix the damage.

“We found out that insurance doesn’t cover (damaged) concrete,” Nichols said. “We’re going to have to get a hold of some concrete contractors to get some estimates.”

Angels Park is located on an island in Meyer’s Lake and was initially built to memorialize Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, the two Evansdale cousins who were kidnapped and killed in 2012. In addition to the sculpture, the park also features benches and four gazebos – each of which is dedicated to a murdered child with ties to Black Hawk County. A large shelter at the center of the park is dedicated to Nichols' 22-year-old daughter, Lindsay, who was a victim of domestic violence in 2012.

Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media
Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media

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