Wagoner Wall Knocked Down By Wind A 'Blessing In Disguise'

Wednesday, August 8th 2018, 5:26 pm
By: News On 6

Downtown Wagoner is still trying to recover from fires that burned several buildings last year.

12/27/2017 Related Story: Fire Damages Downtown Wagoner Building

The damage was scheduled to be removed before downtown hosts the Bluegrass and Chili Festival in September. The construction manager says they're 10 days ahead of schedule thanks in part to the work Mother Nature did for them.

Toni Medlin didn't realize how bad the storm was until she glanced out the front window of her shop.

 "I saw the fence just flying around, and I saw workers who had been working and taking brick down, they started running. So, it kind of scared me," said Medlin.

She says she got her phone out to record the fence when she realized something even bigger was happening.

"As I was walking, a huge wall just fell," said Medlin. "It just put me in shock! I was like, oh my gosh, did I really just get this on video?"

08/08/2018 Related Story: Winds Knock Down Wagoner Building Wall Damaged In Fire

But what looks detrimental on video was actually what construction manager Jay Stephens calls a "blessing in disguise" because he wasn't sure how stable those inner walls were.

"When the storms came in it literally answered that question by taking down the critical parts, and actually made it a very safe place to work," said Stephens.

 There's a long-term plan to rebuild downtown Wagoner and preserve the integrity of its historic buildings-after two fires ripped through the area in the past year.

07/31/17 Related Story: Wagoner Businesses Hope To Reopen Soon After Massive Fire

Fortunately, Mayor Albert Jones says the old bricks-some of which date back to 1898-are still intact. These little pieces of wagoner history are now being cleaned and palleted by Stephens and his crew. They are ready to be built back up into something new with the same Main Street look, people, know and love.

"It's nice to be a part of restoring and preserving history," said Stephens.

The mayor says the historic buildings will be rebuilt one by one after the festival is over.