Pastor Sherman Dibble was at his Palm Springs home when he started getting calls telling him that a tornado had snapped off a piece of a 100-foot cellphone tower that stood next to his church.
The tower doubles as a cross at Horizon Baptist Church, off Orange Boulevard and 130th Avenue North, in The Acreage.
It’s a familiar landmark to residents and, at one point, a controversial one for some.
Residents felt the structure was too big when it was built in 2010.
The church won approval from county commissioners in 1998 to build the tower, but with a 30-foot height limit. In 2009, T-Mobile applied for an exception to allow the 100-foot tower.
On Thursday morning, the cross, which stood taller than the existing control tower at Palm Beach International Airport, lay in a dry retention pond in pieces behind the church. Its bottom half held its own against the winds and remained standing.
Dibble said the church didn’t suffer any damages and no one was injured when the tower fell.
He’s thankful the cross fell where it did. A shift in wind, he said, and “we would have had problems. It would have caused some damage.”
T-Mobile, which pays rent to the church for space on the grounds, will fix the tower, Dibble said.