Repairs to the county owned Town and Country Shopping Center building from Thursday morning's storm could cost as much as one million dollars. The county's Insurance carrier has been notified of the damage.
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County Mayor Mike Foster told WJLE Thursday afternoon that the powerful winds tore loose brand new central heat and air units from the top of the building and tossed them across the roof, causing even more damage to the structure. "The wind tore the deck and everything off the roof of the back corner (southeast corner). The central units that are on top (of the building), which are from five ton to ten ton units, several of them tore loose and rolled across the top and pretty much destroyed the new roof. A lot of the debris from the storm also blew into the front (of the building) and did some damage but that's pretty minor. The big thing is where the roof was torn up. We also got a lot of water down through the sheet rock in the building. We're trying to get the front cleaned up because there's nails and screws everywhere and they (construction laborers) can't work so we have to try and get this all cleaned up, run a magnet over it, so that they can get back to work," said Foster.
"I would image the roof and the central units are probably (going to cost) about six hundred thousand dollars (to repair or replace) plus whatever damage there is to the front and the interior. It'll probably be (total) somewhere between $750,000 to one million dollars," said Foster. " We have contacted our insurance carrier through the local government insurance pool. They told us to go ahead with cleanup. They're going to come and do an inspection and we'll go from there," he added.
While the construction was far from complete, Foster said the portion of the complex where the UCHRA is leasing from the county, was to be finished within a few days. "I'd say it'll set us back a month because if you see the roof, the units that are still in place are sort of turned sideways or blown over. They're going to have to be done (removed) and I'm pretty well thinking they're going to have to put a complete new roof on it. That will be the major thing. They're trying to get some vacuums in now to get the water out. As long as they keep it fairly shallow, we probably won't have any major damage to that part of the sheet rock except where (the water) really poured down on it. It (damage) is much worse on the south end (of the building) but it gets progressively better as you go down toward the north end.," said Foster.
According to Foster, the Farmers Market shed also sustained some minor damage from the storm. "I think we'll only have to replace three or four pieces of metal," he concluded.