Area around Regions Tower to stay closed - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Area around Regions Tower to stay closed

Experts are being brought in to assess the damage. Experts are being brought in to assess the damage.
City officials are concerned debris similar to this might still fall from the building. City officials are concerned debris similar to this might still fall from the building.

Lynsay Clutter/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, April 3 - Public safety officials are still concerned about Sunday's storm damage to the Regions Bank tower downtown. The straight line winds blew out windows on several floors and peeled away parts of the building's facade.

While the wind is responsible for the initial damage to the city's third tallest building, wind will keep the area around it closed for at least another day. Channel 13 Meteorologist Jude Redfield says the wind speeds are expected to be up to 25 miles per hour through Tuesday afternoon. That means falling glass and debris from the Regions building are still a big safety concern.

Three sides and 16 floors of the building are damaged and it will be a while before the tower is repaired. Spokesperson Myra Borshoff says that is bad news for tenants.

"For the foreseeable future, this building will not be occupied...Right now, our focus is securing the building and making it safe."

In the short term that means protecting pedestrians and drivers from falling glass and metal. And, Borshoff says, that means keeping the area around the tower off limits.

"I would say for at least for the next few days, those streets will not be available and you should probably plan to leave 15 to 20 minutes early."

Mayor Bart Peterson agrees. "When we are sure nothing is going to fall off the buildings, then we will reopen the streets."

But the businesses and their employees who work at One Indiana Square will have to wait longer. Getting back to business for them means finding temporary office space elsewhere. Susan Matthews, with the building's management, says they are doing their best to help. "We are in the process of contacting tenants, assessing their needs, and helping them find space."

Building owner Mickey Maurer says they'll do what is necessary. "That's part of being local. We're here. We told those tenants we'd stand behind them, and we've got a plan, we've got an army put together, and we will stand behind them."

Hotels and office buildings in the downtown area have reached out, offering their extra space. One Indiana Square has about 30 tenants and 1000 employees. Among those are accounting firms who are eager to get back to work with tax day just two weeks away.

STREET RESTRICTIONS

· Delaware St. will be closed from Washington to Vermont St., allowing traffic to travel westward on Washington.
· Market St. will now be open between Pennsylvania and Delaware Streets, allowing traffic to travel both directions on Market.
· Pennsylvania St. will be closed from Michigan St. to Market St.
· There will be no eastbound travel on New York St. or Ohio St. from Meridian St.
· There will be no southbound travel on Massachusetts Ave. from Alabama St.

Additionally, there will be no pedestrian traffic allowed within the perimeter surrounding the building:

· New York St. - North boundary
· Ohio St. - South boundary
· Delaware - East boundary
· Pennsylvania St. - West boundary

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