City works to make safer temporary structures

Each temporary structure must have an evacuation plan and be engineered to withstand 70 to 90 mph winds


The Department of Code Enforcement inspects temporary structures built around the area.

Each temporary structure built in Indianapolis has to have an evacuation plan, if storms move through.  In St. Louis, Saturday afternoon, one person was killed after a tent collapsed when a storm passed through the area.

When the Super Bowl was in town back in February, you may remember, Georgia Street and many other places around Lucas Oil Stadium were adorned with temporary structures. 

While the weather, for the most part, was unusually warmer this winter, at one point during the celebrations a temporary structure near the NFL experience was evacuated. 

It was evacuated as a precaution because it was too windy. 

Kate Johnson with the city’s Department of Code Enforcement said, in that case, the decision to evacuate wasn’t required because the wind speed had not reached a level, which would have made it unsafe.  

Depending on the size of the temporary structure, she said, many are engineered to withstand 70 to 90 mph winds.

"Part of the requirement when somebody submits for a limited duration license for a special event, if they wanted to construct a tent on their patio, they would be required to submit a plan for evacuation,” Johnson said.

She said if the wind speed reaches 75 percent of what the temporary structure is engineered to withstand, then the business or organization would be required to initiate their evacuation plan.  "We want to make sure the business owner and the event organizers really think about what they would do in the event the circumstances did arise,” Johnson said.

Johnson said they are working with organizers of the 500 Festival and the Indiana Black Expo to inspect temporary structures, if they are built for these events. 

She said public safety is the number one priority.  She also advised people who are attending the event to use their best judgment.

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