A former fish processing plant in Bareneed was severely damaged by the heavy winds that accompanied Tropical Storm Leslie on Tuesday.
A large section of two exterior walls on the two-storey steel structure were ripped from the framing, sending sheets of metal, plywood and pieces of insulation across the nearby street and onto a nearby hill.
The spectacle attracted dozens of onlookers to the scene during and immediately after the storm, with the Bay Roberts fire department keeping a watchful eye on the situation.
The property is owned by Ches Petten and his son Lindsay of Nautical Enterprises Ltd., which operates two fishing enterprises.
Ches Petten was still assessing the damage on Wednesday, and was amazed by the ferocity of the winds.
The building measures 30 metres (100 feet) by 60 metres (200 feet) and was constructed a half-century ago. Petten said it was a sturdy structure, and he never expected to see such damage.
“Yesterday was one of the worst I’ve seen in this cove,” Petten stated on Sept. 12.
In addition to the damage to the building, a nine-metre (30-foot) section of wharf was also destroyed by the heavy surf, and a 7.6 metre (25-foot) fiberglass fishing boat was knocked off its cribbing.
The property was insured, said Petten.
Many older residents of the community were saying they hadn’t seen such heavy winds since the mid-1950s.
A contracting company was expected to examine the building, but Petten suggested the structure will be condemned. He said salt spray soaked the electrical system, and the roof also endured a heavy pounding.
“We may have to put up a new building,” said Petten.
The company uses the building to store its vast stockpile of fishing gear, including crab and lobster pots, gillnets, trawls and ropes.
Petten said the gear sustained very little damage.
He said the storm hit during low tide, which likely prevented further damage to his property, and an adjacent private home.
“We really got hit hard,” he said. “But these are only material things. The important thing is no one was hurt.
“We’ve been down before, and we will go on again.”