Are You Afraid of Heights? High Winds in Billings Making Our Own Offices Shake
The entire state of Montana is experiencing high winds at the moment. Missoula, for example, is operating on limited power due to downed power lines. Here in Billings, we are getting gusts of up to 60 mph, and everyone in our offices can feel the wind shaking our building.
A Bit of Context
For those that don't know, our radio station is located on the top floor of the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Billings. When it was completed in 1980, it was declared the tallest load-bearing brick building in the world. But, while unique and interesting, that fact is the reason why someone like me, who is terrified of heights, should be scared of this wind. Since the building has its weight held by only the bricks and the foundation, winds of this speed cause the building to sway and shake the closer you are to the top. If you're where we are, it feels like an earthquake. Combined with how high up we are, it makes me queasy just standing in the studio on days like this.
Has Montana Experienced A Building Collapse Due to Wind?
There have been plenty of reports of buildings collapsing due to high winds in the state, however, the majority of these seems to stem from a combination of high winds, hail, lightning, or other falling objects like telephone poles. A good example of a wind only collapse was a farm near Bloomfield that suffered the loss of a barn due to a storm earlier this year due to high winds, which also caused trees to uproot and power lines to snap and twist.
These high winds are predicted to continue until this evening in Billings (11/16).