By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer
The Portales Dream Center will be closed temporarily after high winds peeled the sheet-metal roof off the building Monday afternoon.
Dream Center volunteer Gail Keener said the center will be closed about a week until a temporary cover is in place. The inner ceiling remains intact, she said.
Keener was among the approximately 10 people in the center shortly after noon when the wind peeled the roof back so it was only partially attached to the building at 222 N. Main St.
No one was hurt.
“It just got in under (the roof) and took it off,” she said.
Tim Shy, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque, said his organization doesn’t have wind speed-monitoring equipment in Portales.
However, he said equipment 2 miles southwest of Dora recorded gusts of up to 57 mph, 52 mph in Clovis and 62 mph at Cannon Air Force Base.
Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said police evacuated the Dream Center and stopped train traffic because debris had blown onto the railroad tracks next to the building.
It took until after 3 p.m. to remove the debris and roof, which was done for safety reasons.
City crews assisted with securing motor vehicle traffic, and J.D. Heiskell Holdings provided front-end loaders to help remove the roof and clear the tracks.
Keener said Dream Center volunteers have called the insurance company. She didn’t know how much repairs would cost, but expects it will take “lots of money.”
“We’ll try to temporarily cover it until we get it fixed,” Keener said.
The Dream Center distributes donated food, clothes, household items and furniture to anyone in need.
Anyone interested in helping the Dream Center call Victory Life Church at 356-4901.