A piece of roofing fell off the steeple of St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue yesterday evening. No one was injured, and by 9:30 p.m New Haven firefighters and police had closed off most of Hillhouse Avenue to prevent falling debris from striking anyone. Assistant Fire Chief Ralph Black said strong winds may have caused the damage and that the street would be blocked off until Friday morning.

UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 29, 4:45 p.m. Though officials said last night that Hillhouse Avenue would be open by Friday morning, the block where St. Mary’s is located remained closed to pedestrians and traffic this afternoon as a construction crew moved in to restore the church’s steeple.

In an e-mail sent to the Yale community Friday morning, Yale Police Chief James Perrotti said the street will remain closed until repairs to the steeple are completed.

“There will be no pedestrian traffic allowed in the area of the church on both sides of the road,” Perrotti wrote in the e-mail. “Please find an alternate route.”

A crane was on Hillhouse today, attempting to repair the damage. Police also remain on the scene and are strictly enforcing the no-pedestrian rule, despite students’ repeated attempts to walk through the area.

Some passersby showed frustration at the street’s closing. One woman, realizing the inconvenience, exclaimed, “It’s too cold for this!” but took the detour.

(Photos by: Charlie Croom/Photography Editor)