By Tom Momberg
The city Department of Buildings is urging all proprietors and developers of ongoing construction projects to secure building sites and buildings in preparation for approaching Hurricane Joaquin.
As the Category 4 storm is being tracked north to the mainland United States from the Bahamas picking up strength along the way, the city and state are preparing for strong winds and heavy rain, which are likely even if the hurricane heads out to sea.
The DOB issued a public warning Thursday, asking property owners and contractors to take precautions at their construction sites between Friday and Tuesday to make in an attempt to hold against potential winds upwards of 30 miles per hour with gusts reaching up to 70 miles per hour, as it will be performing random spot-check inspections throughout the city this weekend.
If sites are not secure, the DOB said it would issue violations, stop work orders or other disciplinary actions.
For sites at which structures have been subject to deferred maintenance or are in fragile condition, owners are being advised to consult professionals on how to secure them.
For safeguarding all other sites, the DOB said materials and loose debris must be tied down, electrical equipment covered, tools, oil and fuses stored, scaffolding, netting and sidewalk sheds secured or reinforced and construction fences braced.
The DOB said all crane or exterior hoist operations must be suspended when winds reach 30 miles per hour or greater.
The city is urging anyone to call 9-1-1 immediately if there are emergencies at construction sites.
Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomb