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Carbondale, Illinois, Grand Avenue Christian Church (designed while with Goodman)


  • Site: 10 acres
  • Building Area: 20,665 sf.
  • Seating Capacity: 376
  • Construction: Wood Stud Walls, brick exterior.

The entire auditorium roof of this church had to be replaced after a derecho passed through the Mid-West on May 8, 2009.  This type of storm is defined as a long-lived windstorm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.  This storm started in Oklahoma and extended on into Indiana that day.  This storm was unusually large, measuring 26-34 miles in diameter, had several small embedded tornadoes.   Thirty-nine recorded tornadoes were involved with this storm.  It  had the largest "bookend vortex" that some experts had ever seen. 


The winds in Carbondale were recorded automatically at a sustained 68 miles per hour, with gusts at 81 mph before the system failed.  A Marion airport observer manually recorded a speed of 106 mph, well above the designed wind speed for the building.  Numerous structures in Marion, Carbondale and Murphysboro areas were damaged.  The SIU campus just 2 miles west of the church sustained $5 million in damage to its buildings.  *www.crh.noaa.gov/pah/?n=southildamage