Officials in Sioux City are still assessing the wind damage to the city/county law enforcement center that’s under construction. Ron Wieck, chairman of the authority overseeing the project, says last week’s gusts of up to 50-miles-an-hour toppled several 40-foot-high walls.

“Some of the precast panel walls that were in place and standing upright fell over,” Wieck says, “so at this point, there’s an investigation going on on what occurred.”

The accident happened last Friday afternoon. No workers were in the vicinity and no one was hurt. Wieck doesn’t have a damage estimate yet because the investigation is still underway.

“There will be insurance to cover wind damage, certainly it would be a covered peril under the builder’s risk policy,” Wieck says. “So if we find out that there was a problem on whatever, it’s conceivable a contractor’s liability policy could be involved in it.”

Unfortunately, Wieck says, there’s no saving the walls that fell over. “They are not salvageable,” he says. “They were broken and will have to be replaced.”

While that part of the project is now delayed, Wieck says construction work continues elsewhere.

“Depending on how quickly they can replace those panels, that could affect our timeline,” Wieck says. “The reality of it is, the building is large enough that work can go on in other areas.”

Wieck says the investigation will determine the extent of repairs necessary and if the timeline for the new building is significantly affected.

(Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)