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Bricks rain down following high winds

The shredded awning at Thunder Clan Trading Post blows in the wind Wednesday in the 300 block of Bush Street. Strong winds apparently knocked off bricks atop the building and ripped up the awning. R-E photo by Mike Longaecker1 / 2
Bricks from the roof atop 312 Bush St. litter the street Wednesday after they were blown off during last night's wind storm. R-E photo by Mike Longaecker2 / 2

There's wind, and then there was last night's wind.

To wit: the clay parapet atop 312 Bush St., which became part of the sidewalk at some point late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The sidewalk in the 300 block of Bush Street was littered Wednesday morning with clay pieces and bricks that fell off the building's roof, shredding the awning at Thunder Clan Trading Post.

Wind gusts were measured as high as 62 mph at U.S. Lock & Dam No. 3, according to officials there. Red Wing building inspector Frank Peterson said the high winds were "more than likely" to blame for the Bush Street damage.

Red Wing police Sgt. Marty Kelly was the first to notice the damage during routine patrol at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"It was just a wind tunnel down there," he said, estimating winds at the time at 50 mph.

Some of the materials had blown across the street, he said, adding that the blow-down occurred at a fortuitous hour.

"Glad it didn't happen at 3 p.m.," Kelly said. "People could be dead."

Assistant Red Wing Planning Director Steve Kohn said the materials were part of cap on the building's parapet wall. The decorative clay capping was installed during a 2000 renovation that including installation of a new façade on the building, originally built in 1884, he said.

Frank Peterson said he contacted the building's property manager and Public Works crews barricaded the area to prevent injury. Peterson said that though he could not gain access to inspect the roof, it appeared another section of the parapet was ready to give way, making foot travel on the sidewalk dangerous.

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