Stormy conditions swept through Franklin County Monday night, bringing both the blessing or rain and the curse of damage.
A large tree fell on the northwestern side of the Franklin County Historical Society Archives Center, puncturing the structure’s roof.
“I’m really glad we got the rain, but we didn’t need the damage to the building,” Diana Staresinic-Deane Franklin County Historical Society executive director, said.
“We actually have tree limbs poking through the roof,” she said Tuesday about the center, 1124 W. Seventh St. Terrace, Ottawa. “Based on how much water came in we believe this probably happened with the storm that happened last night around 8:30 or so. County employees drive by every morning to check on our building at about 6:30 and that’s when the damage was discovered.”
Artifacts were not damaged.
“Our staff is safe and nothing in the historical society collection was in the spaces where the tree did the most damage,” Staresinic-Deane said.
The building was closed to the public on Tuesday and remained closed Wednesday to allow for damage assessment. Historical Society services are still available via phone, officials said.
“It’s going to be quite a process to remove that tree safely, because it is such a large tree and has done damage to the roof,” Staresinic-Deane said.
The storm downed trees elsewhere in the county, most visibly in the Bark Park of Forest Park, 320 N. Locust St., Ottawa. The large dog section of the park was closed Tuesday, and the small dog section remained open.
Jim Haag, Franklin County public works director, said the storm laid several trees across rural county roads.
“We lost several trees down and across roadways,” Haag said. “We had half a dozen trees out in the county on various county roads. Most of them fell across the road, and at least one power pole fell over on California Road in the northwest part of the county and dragged the electric lines with it.
“The rain was sorely needed,” he said. “That’s the good news.”