PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Emergency response crews are working to reattach the facade of a building in downtown Providence that came loose during Friday’s storm.
Providence Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Houle tells 12 News the cement, stucco and wire facade separated from the side of the building and is “hanging pretty precariously.”
While the building itself is not in any danger of collapsing, Houle said they’re worried that the facade will come crashing down onto the smaller building next door.
“If it’s coming down, that’s where it’s coming down,” he explained.
The deputy fire chief said the portion of Westminster Street in front of the building has been closed down as crews work to reattach the facade. The neighboring building was also evacuated out of an abundance of caution.
“We’re very concerned about things getting worse, that’s why we have this area cordoned off,” Houle said.
Houle said reattaching the facade will be a challenge, since crews can only access it from inside the building.
The owner of the building tells 12 News construction crews will drill holes through the building in order to temporarily secure the facade until after the holidays.
Houle believes that the storm, as well as the building’s condition, for the facade’s separation.
“From what I could see from the top floor looking down, it’s from years of deterioration and just the amount of wind we had,” he said. “The flashing that let loose appeared to be the all that was holding it up there.”
If the crews are able to secure the facade, they’ll return Tuesday to assess the next steps, which will likely include removing it completely.