EFFINGHAM, Ill. (WCIA) — People in some parts of central Illinois are still repairing damage after wind gusts reached almost 60 miles per hour this weekend.
A viewer sent WCIA this picture of a gas station canopy in Effingham that was knocked over because of it.
Nobody was hurt but it caused some to question how safe these canopies are and what, if anything, is done to make sure they’re strong enough to handle weather like Saturday’s.
Several building inspectors say apart from inspecting the structures when construction of gas stations are completed, nobody is responsible for checking to make sure the canopies are holding up properly as time goes on.
Whenever a gas station is built, the company submits building permits to the city for approval. Usually these types of structures are required to be designed by a state licensed architect or a state licensed structural engineer.
They’re inspected during installation to make sure they meet the requirements, including it’s ability to withstand wind but after that, it’s all in mother nature’s hands.
As Candice Cobb pulled up to a gas station to fill her tank, she was informed of what happened on Saturday. She says, “I couldn’t believe it because to me you would think it’s a part of the building. And if they’re inspecting it, with this being over the pumps i would think they would want to inspect these more or take that precaution.”
Apart from the canopies, building safety departments do periodically inspect gas stations themselves for structural safety.
Those gas station pumps in Effingham were reopened the day after the canopy fell over. It was removed but the manager said it could be weeks before it’s fixed because they have to submit new building permits.