Downtown comes down

Three buildings in downtown Toledo are no longer standing after being demolished due to sustaining damage from the August 10 derecho. Allison Graham/News Chronicle

The August derecho lasted roughly 45 minutes but the aftermath is proving to have much more long term effects.

Cleanup and recovery are just getting started.

Nothing seems to have gone untouched including the historic downtown Toledo. Three buildings were recently demolished due to damage sustained from the derecho.

Three buildings that took the brunt of the storm are located at 109, 113 and 115 West High Street.

Following the derecho, Mayor Brian Sokol did an overview assessment of damage in town. He discovered the second floor had collapsed in the former Family Time building and Wedmore building. Each building has been unhabited for some time.

A view of the demolition in progress from last week. Allison Graham/News Chronicle

Sokol was advised by city attorney, Mike Marquess, to get an expert opinion from the city engineer, Kelli Scott of Snyder and Associates.

Scott surveyed the buildings and deemed them unsafe to the public.

Iowa Code 384.103 allows city mayors to declare a public safety hazard in these types of situations.

Sokol declared the public safety hazard and requested city public works director, Kendall Jordan, coordinate with a contractor in good standing with the city.

Hatch out of Dysart is completing the demolition. The estimate for demolition is not to exceed $110,000. Due to the damage being the fault of the derecho Sokol is hopeful the city will get some reimbursement from FEMA.

“The recent derecho event has proven to be a challenging and costly event for Toledo and this just happens to be another piece to pick up,” Sokol said.

Richard Wedmore owns the Wedmore building and Sue McCliff owns the other two. Both owners have been cooperative with the process according to Sokol.

Scott could not be reached for comment.