Wall collapses, closes downtown half-block
A brick wall on top of one of downtown Rockdale's oldest blocks collapsed in two stages Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, damaging six buildings and forcing five businesses to close or relocate.
There were no injuries when the wall, running north-south on top of the north side of the 100 block of E. Cameron, and extending to an alley, collapsed, breaking through roofs and cascading bricks and debris to floors below.
The inititial collapse occurred about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, while more fell about 9 a.m. Thursday, causing extensive damage to multiple buildings.
Closed are the following:
• Cliff's Tavern, 218 North Main.
• Ram Optical, 208 North Main.
• Cameo Insurance, 113 East Cameron.
• Old Tyme Antiques, 117 East Cameron.
O'Barr Rost Realtors, 204 North Main, was also damaged. Wednesday evening the agency's owners moved it across the Main Street into the Perry Building and the business remains open.
A vacant, two-story building, containing an upstairs apartment, at corner of Cameron and Main was also damaged.
Volunteer firefighters responded Wednesday and warned businesses along the remainder of the block—which also includes a church, a bookstore and the city library—about the situation. The library and Community Information Book Store were not damaged and were open Thursday.
After the second collapse Thursday some repair work and assessment began. At least one of the businesses told The Reporter it hoped to reopen after a structural engineer makes an inspection over the weekend.