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Published August 01, 2009, 12:00 AM

Gooseberry Park shelter closed

Analysis shows wooden roof unsafe due to flood damage
A close look at flood damage to the main shelter at Moorhead’s Gooseberry Park revealed that the structure’s wooden roof is unsafe. A city official said demolition of the roof likely will start next week.

By: Dave Olson, INFORUM

A close look at flood damage to the main shelter at Moorhead’s Gooseberry Park revealed that the structure’s wooden roof is unsafe. A city official said demolition of the roof likely will start next week.

The shelter has suffered from heavy flooding six times since it was built in 1970, according to Larry Anderson, the city’s park and forestry division manager.

This past spring, the entire structure, roof and all, was under water.

Anderson said officials knew the building had suffered damage from all the flooding, but it was believed to be safe.

That is until a recent analysis was done with infrared photography, which revealed signs of rotting in the roof beams.

Anderson said the findings raised the possibility of a collapse during times of strong winds.

“It (the roof) could actually do a lift-off. To be on the safe side, we had to shut her down,” said Anderson.

Many events scheduled to be held at the shelter have either been moved to the nearby smaller shelter, or they will be accommodated by a large tent that has been set up temporarily.

Anderson said contractors told the city they could start demolition of the shelter’s wooden roof this coming week.

He said it is hoped much of the stone structure can be salvaged and that the shelter could be useable again by spring.

Anderson estimated that the demolition could cost $9,000, while replacing the roof could cost about $240,000.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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