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Lightning strike damages phones, servers, TV at ARTitorium and Destinations Inn

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IDAHO FALLS — Cleanup continues this week after lightning struck and damaged two buildings in downtown Idaho Falls Saturday night.

The strike blew apart parts of the Idaho Falls ARTitorium’s chimney during a thunderstorm. It caused electrical damage that knocked out phones and blew one of their servers.

“We have made some efforts to remove some of the loose bricks from the top to make sure that they don’t fall,” Idaho Falls Arts Council visual arts director Georgina Goodlander said.

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Luckily, the chimney was not in use. Goodlander said repairing it will be a matter of removing the loose bricks and sealing it. They don’t have an estimate yet on how much repairs are going to cost and are still working to determine the extent of the damage.

“Right now our internet and phones are down. We’re trying to establish what can be repaired and what needs to be replaced,” she said.

Destinations Inn shares a building with the ARTitorium and was also damaged. The hotel’s owner, Larry Fisher, said guests had to be evacuated for an hour on Saturday after the lightning strike.

“The guests were really good. Everybody was really understanding. Everything worked out fine under the circumstances. The main thing was nobody got hurt,” Fisher said.

He said the strike also knocked out the hotel’s internet and phones along with ruining a TV and a couple of projectors.

“We’ve got everything pretty much back working again today,” Fisher said.

The ARTitorium re-opened Monday evening for the Family Fun Art Night.

“We went in and cleaned up as much as we could and checked to figure out what needed to happen. But we are able to open,” Goodlander said.

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