UPDATE (5:42 p.m.)– The south wall of the Pekin Township building collapsed around 4:30 p.m. taking several powerlines down with it.
Out of an abundance of caution, emergency personnel expanded the safe zone.
Broadway is closed between 4th and Elizabeth. Elizabeth remains closed between 4th and Broadway. 5th Street is closed from Broadway to Court Street. 4th Street remains open for traffic north and southbound.
The downtown Pekin area is currently without power. Ameren is working to switch power stations back on. There is no word on when power could be restored.
PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — Despite a “partial collapse,” officials here will not completely demolish the Pekin Township building but instead will do a “partial demolition.”
Township Supervisor Shannon Saal said crews will remove three to four feet of a brick wall. And then, they hope to build a planted roof once everything is reviewed and approved.
Interim City Manager and Pekin Police Chief John Dossey said the city was notified that part of the building that faces Elizabeth Street was falling down. The wall, which faces west, had fallen against a neighboring building which is a law office, he said.
That portion of the building was the “new” portion, the manager said. Originally, the structure was built, he said, in the mid-to-late 1800s with an addition coming in the early 1900s. It’s the addition, he believed, which is the part that collapsed.
“From the aerial photos that I have seen, it looks like the entire roof failed and collapsed. When that occurred, the west wall buckled. Had that (law office building) not been there, then that wall would have just laid out completely,” he said.
Saal said she hopes the building, which has been used as a car dealership in the past, will be usable by next week and to have meals for seniors on Sept. 14. Dossey said that’s possible if engineers can get inside and determine the portion that is remaining still structurally sound.
After that, he said, there will need to be an assessment to see what needs to be done as well as the issuance of building permits for any construction that might occur.
Townships across the state provide general assistance to people who need help with rent, food and other essential services. It also provides meal programs and emergency assistance to people who suffer a sudden change in their life.