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Snow totals the Church of Christ – what happens next?

By Gregg Scott

Staff writer

The word around Chester is, “I’m so done with this winter”  Overloaded roofs, crushed decks, buried propane tanks, one-lane residential streets and numerous other complaints have led many in the Almanor Basin to express that single phrase.  That would be especially true of the congregation at the Church of Christ in Chester. On Feb. 23 it was reported to Cal Fire that there was roof breakage at the Chester Church of Christ and a heavy smell of propane in building.  Cal Fire and the CHP responded and turned off  both the gas and electricity to avoid the possibility of fire.

Within the next few days and with even more snowfall,  the damage continued with walls popping out and the back side of the roof completely collapsing. While talking with Pastor Ken Ripple, Plumas News was told that the church property is co-owned with a Redding Church of Christ and that at the time of the damage, the Chester property was not insured. It seems that the church building will not be rebuilt, but the church elders are considering the idea of using the Chester property as a youth summer camp. Pastor Ripple is in a transition period and will be relocating in the near future.

As you approach the Warner Valley face of the Chester Church of Christ you can immediately see the large structural cracks caused by the weight of the snow on the roof.  If your first thought was, “Oh, that’s not too bad,” you would definitely be wrong. Photo by Gregg Scott
As you proceed around the structure to the left (westward) it becomes apparent the the pressure on the roof has actually blown out entire wall structures under the weight. Photo by Gregg Scott
Just another few steps and the worst of the damage comes into view. Several sections of the roof structure completely collapsed and flattened the walls.  It has been determined that the building is a complete loss. With no insurance on the property, other uses are being considered for the future of the property itself. Photo by Gregg Scott

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