Wind-blown warehouse

JOHN CHRISTENSEN
Birkett Mills Warehouse project in Penn Yan will be delayed after wind damaged the framing Wednesday afternoon.

The Birkett Mills Seneca Street Warehouse project was dealt a setback Wednesday afternoon when the high winds blew down the roof trusses installed that day, and twisted some walls out of square.

A worker on scene Thursday morning said that it occurred just after the crews had left for the day, and that no one was injured when the trusses fell in.

That was confirmed by Birkett Mills President Jeff Gifford, who said the collapse occurred about 4:15 p.m., and it appears the only trusses that fell were the ones that had not yet been fully braced. He added that the collapse was not caused by any design issue, but was just an effect of the extreme weather and the stage of construction.

By Friday morning, the debris had been cleared away, and the wind-twisted walls straightened. With a scheduled completion date near the end of June, Gifford expects the delay to be only as long as it takes to have new trusses delivered.

"The most important thing is that no one was hurt," says Gifford. "Birkett Mills has managed 200 years without that warehouse, we can wait a few weeks longer."