Strong winds damage Convocation Center awning

Photo by Sage Stephens

Some of the debris made it to the hill in Rynearson Stadium, but did not make it as far as the field.


Part of the awning over the main entrance to the Convocation Center was blown off by strong winds Monday. The main entrance to the building is closed until further notice.

Debris has blown into Rynearson Stadium, but has not reached the football field. Kevin Abbasse of the Physical Plant said this incident will not have any effect on the Friday football game against the University of Toledo.

Students and staff using the Convocation Center Monday should use the south entrance, the university said in an emailed statement today.

Repairs, clean up and damage assessment will begin Tuesday, after the wind has died down, Abbasse said. 

"Right now the only reason I can't get anyone out to take care of anything is because of the wind," he said. "We'll have a security person out here to keep everyone out of the way and then tomorrow morning we'll get a truck out here and we'll start picking up the pieces."

The winds were too strong Monday for the Physical Plant to prevent further damage to the Convocation Center roof.

"If I were to put someone up on a boom in this wind, I'd be doing more damage to them than they would be repairing," Abbasse said.

Wind speeds in Ypsilanti Monday reached 29 miles per hour with gusts as high as 55 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. The wind advisory was in effect from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday.

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