GOODLAND, Ind. (WLFI) - Engineers are stumped and have no answers as to why Goodland's 300,000 gallon water tower crumbled to the ground.
"We had tank manufacturers here. We had tank maintenance companies. We had our engineering firm that we normally deal with came to try and figure out why this tower went down," said Goodland Town Council President Jim Butler.
But, not one of the engineers can point to a single spot and said this is what caused Goodland's 300,000 gallon water tower to go from upright to twisted metal in a matter of seconds.
Even though engineers don't know what caused this tower to collapse, they don't believe corrosion or rust are to blame. There is a lot of ore on this tower, but that color is from the primer.
"There is no place where somebody could point to and say "Oh, yeah! This is rusted through. This is what caused the problem," Butler said.
Butler said the theory is northeast leg of the tower may have weakened first, causing the riser supporting the middle of the tower to fall the opposite way, and after that, the tower probably collapsed straight down.
"I don't know that it has ever happened," said field engineer Ryan Whybrew. "It's going to need to be taken apart and looked at and compared to standing ones and see what the major flaws could be, if there are any flaws."
Whybrew is one of the engineers that investigated the damage Tuesday.
The town will hire a structural engineering firm to get answers.
"There are probably lots of towns wondering why our tower fell, too. Maybe they can prevent their tower from falling," Butler said.
Hopefully, it will help prevent other towns from the insurance nightmare Goodland could be dealing with. The tower was insured, but the water damaged many homes and garages including John Eisen's who lives thirty yards away. Goodland's insurance will likely have to foot Eisen's and others' bills.
Eisen, like most in Goodland, are left asking how could a water tower just collapse.
"If I find out it's because of their negligence, then yeah. I'll probably get a little more upset," Eisen said.
Until there are answers, many are left staring in disbelief at the site and the disaster is caused.
Goodland is expected to be under a boil order the rest of the week. Butler said water samples will be taken and sent off to be tested. He expects those results back by Friday.
Butler said the town will have to relocate its new water tower, which could cost Goodland more money. It will probably have to purchase land or get a land agreement. Whybrew expects a new tower to be built by the middle of next year.
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