WORTHINGTON — Marshall Helmers, the manager at Worthington’s Lampert Lumber, had already left for the day Tuesday when a powerful storm delivering heavy rains and strong winds blew through Worthington.
At about 6:15 p.m., he estimated on Friday morning, he started receiving contacts from multiple people. Almost as soon as it had begun, the storm had virtually flattened a storage warehouse on the Lampert property.
“I got a couple of calls and texts and got sent some videos,” Helmers recalled. “There were a few employees who came and moved some things out of there in terms of product. Amazingly, we didn’t really lose any inventory, which was nice, but we’re going to lose a building, though, which stinks.”
Most importantly, Helmers added, everybody was safe and no one was hurt as a result of the storm. As he saw it, the business was — all in all — pretty fortunate.
“The end that was blown away, there was almost nothing in there,” he said. “We had a few windows and an overhead door in the building and they were basically untouched, which was amazing.”
Employees, contactors and members of the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office were all at Lampert Lumber Tuesday night, Helmers said. On Thursday and Friday, the building was razed and debris removed.
Whether or not Lampert Lumber will construct a new warehouse remains to be seen.
“We have some insurance pending and all of that fun stuff,” Helmers said. “It’s undetermined right now.”
Other than the downed building, there were no other reports of extensive damage as a result of Tuesday’s storm. Worthington’s wastewater treatment plant, which reports precipitation totals to the National Weather Service, recorded 1.73 inches of rain. Scattered debris from trees was also removed from city streets beginning Wednesday.