Look Up: That Time a Hurricane Almost Destroyed the Citigroup Center

Exasperating the problem further, hurricane season had just begun and any Category 1 storm would be certain to cause serious damage. LeMessurier contacted the owners and convinced them to enact a secret plan to repair the building after work hours and also put in place a plan to evacuate the area in case such a storm came close.

Of course, only six weeks into the repair, with only half of the building corrected, Hurricane Ella was charted to hit the city. Fortunately, in the last minutes, the storm veered off course and the workers were able to complete their secret repairs.

In fact, since there were no incidents, it wasn't until The New Yorker ran a piece on the emergency repairs in 1995 that the story was made public. In the end, the story speaks both poorly and well of the engineer: Though he lacked the proper oversight in construction to have observed the error in the first place, once he was made aware of the problem, he took the necessary steps to correct the mistake.

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