Tornado Damages Roof of Minneapolis Convention Center

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Minneapolis, MN – An apparent tornado damaged the roof one of the exhibit halls at the Minneapolis Convention Center August 19, forcing the staff to move scheduled events to another hall.

No one was hurt when the storm swept through, but a section of the roof of Exhibit Hall B on the east side of the convention center was damaged.

“We had a little bit of rain coming in but we got a crew in there right away to clean it up,” said Kristen Montag, spokeswoman for the center.

The damaged section measured approximately 60’x 300’ on the eastern-most section of the center. Contractors surveyed the area August 20 and reported the damage was largely a lost layer of ballast stones over the waterproof membrane. An estimated cost and time frame for the repairs was not immediately available.

Two small events scheduled for Hall B were shifted to an adjacent hall and would take place as scheduled, Montag said.

Hall B was not in use when the storm hit. The center was hosting the 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a national annual meeting with about 2,200 attendees. Everyone was in areas considered tornado-safe and continued their meetings once the storm passed.

However, attendees lost out on a planned outdoor buffet as the winds scattered the catering equipment.

Reach Executive Director Steve Ethier at (612) 335-6000 or steve.ethier@ci.minneapolis.mn.us