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Town leaders issue emergency evacuation near collapsing Sullivan building

Sullivan officials have called for an evacuation of a city block...and it's all due to safety concerns involving a collapsing building.

Posted: Oct 16, 2019 1:21 PM
Updated: Oct 16, 2019 5:41 PM

SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTHI) - Sullivan officials have called for an evacuation of a city block...and it's all due to safety concerns involving a collapsing building.

The evacuation impacts the North Court Street block. That's where the city hall is located.

In February, we reported on structural issues at the former Bodine Law Offices on this block.

On Wednesday, the safety concerns hit their tipping point.

City leaders want people to stay away from the city hall area.

Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb said officials started seeing more degradation in the last couple of months.

He said they checked on the building every single day to see its progress. Initially, they wanted to do what they could to preserve the building.

They say due to increased damage on Wednesday, due to the wind and other natural issues...the block, including six businesses, had to evacuate.

Lamb says while historical building preservation is a top priority, public safety is number one.

"That's our administration's number one goal, is to try and preserve as much historic fabric of the downtown area. Unfortunately, as the city got involved with conversations and brought in engineers to try to do this, we did not realize how bad the condition of the building was," Lamb told us.

The gas company has turned off service in the area. The city will have to demolish the building in question.

It's not clear at this time how long the area will remain closed.

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