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Wind makes a mess of project but spares building of damage

Monday, October 15, 2012

Broken wooden framing and loosened protective plastic blow in the breeze after gusting winds toppled scaffolding and fencing Sunday morning along the west side of the building at 25 W. Franklin St.
When the wicked wind whispers and moans, tree limbs, power lines and roofing shingles are seldom any match for it.

But Sunday morning in downtown Greencastle those gusty winds even took their toll on metal fencing, wooden scaffolding and protective plastic covering the west side of the building at 25 W. Franklin St. (northeast corner of Franklin and Jackson streets).

With winds gusting at about 40-50 mph at times, one of those big gusts apparently caught the edge of the protective plastic that has been covering the brick during the paint removal process under way on the historic building.

Apparently, that plastic covering ballooned like a sail and pulled the scaffolding down, causing a section of fencing to tumble across the northbound lane of U.S. 231 (North Jackson Street).

"That's exactly what happened," acknowledged Greencastle City Police Officer Albert Epple, who was called to the scene about 9:30 a.m. and was soon joined by Greencastle Fire Department Lt. John Shafer and reserve firefighter Jonathan Hawkins.

Epple had cleared the roadway of the metal fencing and pieces of wood -- which the GPD officer said had sprawled across the busy roadway clear to the centerline -- by the time the fire unit arrived on the scene.

Remarkably, no passing vehicles were apparently damaged by the tumbling materials, nor did there appear to be any structural damage to the building owned by Tad and Amy Robinson of Greencastle.

The corner building is one of about a dozen downtown structures currently under facade restoration work as part of Greencastle's Stellar Communities grant.

Mayor Sue Murray was also called to the scene Sunday morning and contacted representatives of Advanced Restoration Contractors (ARC), the Indianapolis-based firm doing the facade reconstruction work. Within an hour, ARC officials had arrived on the scene, removed the plastic and framing debris and restored the protective fencing along the sidewalk.

Fire officials, meanwhile, were called away from the downtown scene to remove a downed limb on Gillespie Street Sunday morning. However, there appeared to be no structural damage to report anywhere in town in connection with the windy conditions that prompted a National Weather Service Wind Advisory through 11 p.m. Sunday.

A downed tree along Seminary Street (between Arlington and Wood streets) did cause a power outage for some sections of the city's southeast from about 12:15 p.m. to nearly 11 p.m.

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-- Posted by marjoansmith on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 1:12 AM

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