Clean-up continues after wind destroys Clarksville building

Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 09, 2017

CLARKSVILLE, Mich. -- A historic West Michigan building is a total loss after Wednesday's storm.

The roof ripped off and debris littered the streets of downtown Clarksville. The fire chief and experts say it simply isn't safe to restore the 100-year-old building.

Even before the strong winds on Wednesday, the walls had already been seriously damaged.  Without the roof, the building is seriously unstable.

An aerial view of the building shows the extent of the damage. Much of downtown Clarksville is still closed off Thursday as crews continue to clean up.

Bricks and other debris still cover parts of south Main Street.

"There's a lot of history in that building, and you just can't replace it," said Campbell Township Fire Chief Bob Cronk.

It doesn't have a name, but the old building has been a mainstay in Clarksville since 1923, serving as a restaurant, library, grocery store, and even as the town's opera house in its early days.

Wendy Cisler, a senior insurance claim specialist with the Cincinnati Insurance Company, says there is no way to save the building and it will likely be torn down early next week.

"It's going to be a couple of days before the building comes down," Cisler said. "We still gotta talk to the owners and figure out what they really want to do. But there is no saving this building."

The surrounding buildings only suffered cosmetic damage.  Crews will continue to remove debris from Main Street and board up the old building until permits can be issued for its demolition.