Monroe fire officials set damage at $700,000 after lighting struck and burned down a 62-foot-high Jesus Christ statue and an adjacent amphitheater at Solid Rock Church late Monday.
Police are now ticketing motorists that are slowing down on I-75 to look at the landmark, one whose construction was nearly as controversial as its destruction.
Church leaders are vowing to rebuild the iconic "King of Kings" statue - also dubbed "Touchdown Jesus" - which alone was valued at $300,000.
Monroe Fire Capt. Richard Mascarella said the other $400,000 in damage was to the amphitheater when flames from the sculpture spread to the back wall and roof.
“The heat coming off the statue singed the entire back wall of the amphitheater and burned through it,” Mascarella said. “Portions of the roof are destroyed, so they will have to replace a large part of it.”
A pond surrounding the statue that used to be full of fish is now filled with remnants of the structure, made of fiber glass and foam. All the fish are either dead or dying, Mascarella said.
Church leaders also plan to repair the amphitheater and the pond and the structures were all insured. Insurance adjusters were expected at the site Tuesday afternoon.
i've driven by that statue numerous times...obviously Zeus had enough