Storm causes damage to grounds

The storm that passed through Wapakoneta and the rest of the county June 29 wreaked plenty of havoc on the Auglaize County Fairgrounds, Auglaize County Fairgrounds Manager Fred Piehl told members of the Auglaize County Fairboard during a regular meeting Monday.

Piehl said 15 trees on the property were lost or damaged during the storm, with several buildings also sustaining damage.

“In general, if you drove around the grounds, it was a sight to see,” Piehl said.

He said horse barn number one received the heaviest damage, but fortunately the barn was scheduled to be torn down after this year’s fair anyway.

“We are using it one last fair and we had plans to tear it down this fall,” Piehl said.

Parts of the roofs on the fruit barn and another horse barn also sustained heavy damage, as did the freight house, which is used for storage. Large parts of the chain link fence surrounding the grounds were damaged by strong winds and trees that fell on them.

All but one tent that had been set up the morning of the storm for the annual St. Joseph Parish Fourth of July Festival held July 3 and 4 were ripped down that night. A large crew of workers was able to get the grounds ready again prior to the festival.

“That Saturday we had 30 people in here chopping down trees and hauling them to the parking lot,” Piehl said. “Another crew was right behind them cleaning up the grounds. Electrical crews took care of the downed electric poles and we were back in business by Monday.”

Several electrical poles and outside lights were downed by the storm, but most are already repaired.

The fair board finished the meeting with an executive session concerning the rental of portable restrooms for the fair with no action taken.