As the tornado approached Revere on Monday morning, most men working on the Hill School roof were able to get down prior to the twister, but some men were left on upper levels and found themselves holding on for their lives to steel beams.
“There were guys in the building on the second floor and they just couldn’t go anywhere and they had to bear hug the steel columns to keep from being blown away,” said Simon Tempest of the City’s construction management firm for the Hill School project. “The crane operator was in the crane and had to stay where he was too. He couldn’t get down and said it was pretty shaky up there when it went through.”
While that was extremely touch and go for those that had to hold on for dear life, Tempest said it was probably the best decision anyone has ever made to get the roofers and ironworkers off the roof prior to the storm.
“In fact, they saw the rain coming through and the roofers and iron workers all came down about five minutes before the storm hit,” he said. “It’s just a miracle nothing really happened and these guys got out of there when they did. If they had been on the roof, they would have been gonzo.”
He said one construction trailer was briefly lifted up with four people in it when a tree fell on one end. Another trailer was abandoned during the storm as it became unsteady, and the crew took cover in their trucks.
There were no injuries on the site.