Firefighters responded to alarms, reportedly caused by a lightning strike to the James Building, which is located at 735 Broad St. (Photo: Reed Schick, Roundtree Agency)
(Photo: Reed Schick, Roundtree Agency)

Monday afternoon thunderstorms prompted area power outages and lightning reportedly damaged downtown’s James Building.

“It hit and it didn’t really shake but it was super loud and then all the fire alarms in the building went off,” Roundtree Agency Creative Specialist Reed Schick said. 

The digital marketing agency’s office is in the James Building and Schick, who is a photographer, captured the aftermath of the storm and the lightning strike that caused a portion of the building to crash to the ground, he said.

“It was a pretty big chunk of the building that fell,” he said, adding that he thought it could have killed someone if they had been walking below.

Schick estimated that eight or nine firetrucks responded but no one was injured, the Chattanooga Fire Department’s spokesman Bruce Garner confirmed. 

“We have called in a city building inspector to look at the damage and advise us on anything that needs to be done to ensure that the area around the building is safe,” Garner also said via email. 

Monday at 4:30 p.m., EPB was working to restore power to about 1,300 customers

“Chattanooga’s smart grid prevented lasting outages by automatically restoring service to 11,000 other homes and businesses,” EPB spokesman John Pless said via email.

He encouraged customers to download the free myEPB app to report outages and continually monitor restoration efforts.

Most people did not panic, although there was a lot of commotion as people came outside, Schick said. (Photo: Reed Schick, Roundtree Agency)
(Photo: Reed Schick, Roundtree Agency)