Airport, new library cleaning up after weekend storm

2013-09-10T16:30:00Z 2014-05-26T22:29:22Z Airport, new library cleaning up after weekend stormBy CHRIS CIOFFI ccioffi@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

The airport and the new Billings Public Library are continuing to clean up from damage sustained in Saturday's harsh weather.

At Billings Logan International Airport, the hail and winds were especially strong. 

Wind gusts with an official high of 73 mph were clocked by the National Weather Service.

“Like everywhere else in town we got hammered by the rain and wind,” said Kevin Ploehn, assistant director of aviation transit for the City of Billings.

“One of the rooftop air conditioning units got blown off the office buildings,” Ploehn said. “We would have had two units come off, but one got hung up in a gas line. Thank goodness the line didn't break.”

The terminal was damaged when water blew against the west side of the building with such force it came through a door, soaking the carpets and making Sheetrock near the baggage claim area soggy.

“We’re not sure how much it will cost to fix yet, but we have some contractors out there doing some estimates. From the airport’s perspective it may be about $25,000,”  Ploehn said.

The Billings Public Library, which is still under construction, was also damaged.

“There was a lot of water that collected in excavated areas that are going to be used for sidewalks,” said Bill Cochran, library director. “Some was absorbed, but it was so much that it rose and the water collected in the northwest corner into the building.”

The water seeped into the building, got underneath the raised floor and did damage to some of the newly hung Sheetrock.

Cochran said that the flooding was not extensive.

Replacing some drywall and vacuuming out the space under the floor should get the project back on track.

“It actually held up pretty good under the circumstances,” he said. “It gave us a chance to look at some other steps to make sure that the corner along Sixth and 29th are sealed up to prevent future weather problems."

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