For nearly 11 hours that seemed an eternity, John Cooper, pastor of Lord of the Seas Lutheran Church, hunkered down in his house while Hurricane Georges lashed Big Pine Key, Fla.
When Georges had passed, Cooper was astonished to find the big cross made of I-beams outside the church "twisted right down to the ground," likely by a tornado spawned in the hurricane. Damaged but not destroyed, the church held worship the following Sunday and is serving as a command post for relief efforts.
Throughout the Keys, Georges damaged more than 1,000 homes and destroyed scores of others. Hundreds of homeowners lack insurance.
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