West Branch building collapses - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

West Branch building collapses

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The seemingly never-ending string of showers has got some Eastern Iowans wondering when it will end.

That especially goes for the owners of a century-old building in historic downtown West Branch. It collapsed into a pile of bricks and broken two-by-fours on Friday, as it was being renovated into a winery. It is believed that steady rains may have caused the ground beneath the building to become unstable.

The same goes for a retaining wall that suddenly fell as it was under construction Sunday in Iowa City. A mass of railroad ties and concrete blocks tumbled into a power line pole, knocking it on top of the nearby apartment building, which was evacuated for safety reasons.

All this soggy weather is also making things difficult for local lawn care companies, like Quality Care in Coralville.

"We're kind of picking and choosing where we can go," said Jeff Wilming, Vice President of Operations. Wilming says sustained showers have grounded about half his fleet of lawn mowers, and forced his crews to stay away from potentially dangerous terrain.

"We're sticking to those high areas, flat areas, keeping out of the ditches. We're staying off of the hilly areas; we don't want people sliding on equipment. That obviously does some damage to the turf as well, that would need to be repaired."

Wilming says despite the interruptions weather like this can cause, they usually don't last too long, and he says quality care does have ways to prepare for them.

"We let everybody know at the time of hire that we are subject to not only the scheduled demands of our clients, but also the scheduled demands of mother nature."

And sometimes that simply means leaving a patch of long grass for a dry, sunny day.

Online Reporter – Brady Smith

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