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High winds damage Illinois Baptist building’s roof

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP) –- No one was hurt, but the roof of the Illinois Baptist State Association building in Springfield was in poor condition after high winds blew part of it off on Thursday (March 14).

A gust of wind blew a section of the building’s roof into its north parking area around 4:20 p.m. The part that blew off was the rubber membrane of the roof along with the underlying Styrofoam that serves as part of the drainage system. High winds continued to blow smaller pieces into the parking lot over the next few hours.

The state association’s staff heard a loud popping sound just before the section of roof crashed into the parking lot. Nearly 50 people — IBSA staff and building tenants — were inside when the incident occurred.

“I haven’t seen or felt that kind of wind in a long time,” IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams said, “but I’m still surprised at what it could do to the roof of a sturdy building like ours. I’m so thankful to the Lord that none of our staff, tenants or guests were injured.”

The crew from Springfield Firefighters Local 37 was quickly on the scene. Stationed just down the street on Adlai Stevenson Drive, crew members saw the incident happen. One first responder told the Illinois Baptist, “We were in our incident room and saw the roof come off the building. We knew we had to come right away.” The fire crew quickly evacuated the building.

The IBSA Building was open during regular office hours today.

Workers spent Thursday night and Friday morning cleaning up debris and getting a tarp over the roof. At least one vehicle was left with severe dents and scratches and others had minor damage.

The National Weather Service reported wind gusts as high as 61 mph at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield, 10 miles from the IBSA building.

    About the Author

  • Lisa Misner

    Lisa Misner is communications director for the Illinois Baptist State Association. This report was provided by the Illinois Baptist newspaper.

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