PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As a brewery building sits teetering on the brink of an Astoria pier, investigators are assessing the possibility of more damage.
The 90-year-old Buoy Beer Company building sits crumpled on the edge of the boardwalk after partially collapsing into the river on Tuesday night just after 6 p.m. Officials say there were no injuries and no one was in the building or in the water at the time of the collapse.
The brewery is right off the river walk, which is now closed as investigators look into what happened. It’s not yet clear if the roof itself collapsed or the pier underneath, but one reportedly possible factor is high water levels on the Columbia River.
As investigators continue their work, the economic and cultural impact is already being felt in the community. This decades-old building has been a part of Astoria’s changing tide of industries on the waterfront.
According to Astoria City Manager Brett Estes, the brewery is the center of the town’s “fermentation business cluster.” Because of the rich local beer culture, Estes says he believes the Buoy Beer Co. is going to be able to recover.
“We want to be able to do all we can to be able to assist them in their repair and their rebuilding process to be able to continue to be making beer and letting folks be able to eat and sample their products at their location over the Columbia River,” Estes said.
Estes tells KOIN 6 News that overwater properties’ underpinnings are “routinely” inspected and repaired. The owners are working with their insurance and getting a buoy line to keep debris from floating away.
The city plans to help the owners find contractors and an engineer to inspect the building, look at its safety and determine the next steps towards rebuilding.
Meanwhile, Astoria Fire Cheif Dan Crutchfield said although this was “a devastating event for our community and the owners of the business,” the outcome could have been much worse.