Serious roof issues leave Dubuque church closed for 3-6 months - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Serious roof issues leave Dubuque church closed for 3-6 months

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

A Dubuque church will be closed for three to six months as a result of serious roof issues.

Members of the St. Elias The Prophet Church are currently looking for a new place of worship as engineers work on fixing serious structural problems to the church.

The Rev. Dustin Lyon said he was alerted to the issues after a series of cracks appeared on the ceiling just a couple of weeks ago.

He said it was after a service on Sunday parishioners noticed a wall of religious icons and paintings had pulled away from another wall.

"We have a wall of icons and religious paintings that separated from our altar. We noticed that the top of that had separated from the wall about 3 inches," Lyon said.

Lyon said he immediately contacted a structural engineer. The structural engineer told Lyon the three of the buildings four trusses, which hold the ceiling of the church up, were shattered.

"He said no more services and then he said a strong wind could have brought the roof down," Lyon said.

Lyon said the structure was built in the late 1950's and since that time the church has faced no major renovations, until now. The discovery left crews setting up beams to stabilize the roof, while parishioners moved paintings and valuables into the basement.

Lyon said crews will be working on repairing the trusses and ceiling during the next three to six months to make sure the building is safe.

During that time Lyon is hopeful members of St. Elias will be able to worship somewhere else in the Dubuque area. Lyon said he has already been contacted by organizations looking to help.

"We've had several offers from different churches and organizations to use their chapel or their worship space," Lyon said.

Lyon said it is to early in construction to tell how much the repairs will cost.

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