ALEXANDRIA – The red dots on Alexandria Building Official Lynn Timm’s map are getting bigger and bigger.
Each dot represents a building repair project that Timm’s office issued after the May 12, 2022 tornado and high winds slammed through the city and outskirts, damaging homes, garages, and other structures.
So far, Timm’s map is dotted with more than 400 storm-related items related to roofing, siding, window replacement and rebuilding permits granted up to this point in the recovery. The hardest-hit areas include the southeast side of Lake Darling and the east shore of Lake Geveva.
“To date, the estimated value of the post-storm work is over $10 million and there is still work to be done,” said Timm. “In a typical year, approximately 175 permits are issued for roof resurfacing, residential building and window replacement, with an estimated annual value of approximately $3 million.”
According to Timm, the recovery remains strong and is likely to continue well into 2024.
“There are many projects that haven’t even made it to the planning permission stage because of insurance issues, decisions to be made and contractor scheduling difficulties,” she said.
The tornado in Alexandria made one of Timm’s greatest fears come true.
“Each year I get a little queasy when I see other communities being hit by the spring/summer storms; I know we will be one day and I hope we are up to the challenge,” she said, adding that the Alexandria Public Works Department has a relatively minor role in the reconstruction.
Still, it keeps the department busy.
“We provide advice and support to owners, contractors, designers, insurance companies and others,” said Timm. “We protect our citizens from storm chasers who come to our area looking for work. We review, approve, and inspect ongoing repair and remodeling work for compliance with the Minnesota State Building Code. Were we busy? Yes. But make no mistake – the hard work of rebuilding is being done by the people on site, by those who work insanely long hours every day to rebuild our community.”
Al Edenloff is editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He began his journalism career in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.