Fargo winds were 70 mphFARGO — Apartment buildings damaged by Saturday’s storm were up to code and built with the proper materials, according to Fargo city inspections. Ron Strand, Fargo inspections administrator, said his office is looking into the damage to apartment buildings and garages in the Amber Valley area of southwest Fargo.
By: By Amy Dalrymple, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — Apartment buildings damaged by Saturday’s storm were up to code and built with the proper materials, according to Fargo city inspections.
Ron Strand, Fargo inspections administrator, said his office is looking into the damage to apartment buildings and garages in the Amber Valley area of southwest Fargo.
An initial look shows the buildings complied with city codes and were built by reputable contractors, Strand said.
The city inspector looking at the damage speculates there may have been a wind gust in excess of 90 mph that caused the damage in an isolated area, Strand said.
“When we get winds up around 90 mph or above, we’re not designed for that,” he said.
Fargo reported straight-line winds in the 60 mph to 70 mph range early Saturday morning, said Greg Gust, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
However, some ground sensors were not working due to a power outage, so it’s possible wind speeds were actually higher, he said.
The winds also were sustained for a few minutes, which can cause more damage than a gust of a higher speed, Gust said.
“Extreme winds cause extreme damage,” he said.
Gust said newer developments in Fargo will be more susceptible to building damage because there are fewer mature trees to take the brunt of the storm.
Apartment buildings are also more vulnerable than houses to damage because they’re taller, Gust said.
City inspectors will look to see if something went wrong with the building construction and make adjustments if necessary, Strand said.
But buildings that meet city codes will occasionally have damage from severe weather, he said.
“If we have some damage, it’s sometimes perfectly natural,” he said. “We don’t want to see it happen, but sometimes it will happen.”
The most severe damage in Saturday’s storm was to a section of garages, Strand said.
The garages were properly held down with anchor bolts, he said. The inspector believes the wind may have hit the aluminum garage doors just right, causing them to blow in, Strand said.
“The garage is meant to resist wind from the outside, not the inside,” he said.
The complexes damaged in Saturday’s storm, Amber Crossing and Amber Valley Apartments, are owned by Property Resources Group.
Lisa Gefroh, division manager, said in a statement released to media that damage estimates are not yet available.
Gefroh said crews have begun restoring the buildings, and the company is working with families to accommodate them.
Property Resources Group also owns apartment complexes damaged by a Memorial Day weekend storm.
Amy Dalrymple is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.