Rimrock Repair Slow Going

Repairs to Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark in Billings, Mont., are ongoing despite a reported 24 days of rain since a tornado damaged the venue June 20.

Officials said it’s too soon to know when the arena rebuilding will be complete but repairs are progressing as fast as possible despite the bad weather.

So far thousands of seats have been removed from the venue for restoration and pieces of steel roofing hanging from the ceiling are in the process of being removed, according to the Billings Gazette.

The next step in that process will be to repair the roof, which could be completed in about six weeks, so the venue’s interior can be dried out, the paper said.

The 12,000-capacity facility was shut down because a tornado moving through the area dropped golf ball-sized hail and torrential rain and tore the roof completely off the building.

Engineers that inspected the facility in the aftermath deemed it structurally sound June 23 and city and county officials began plotting a rebuilding strategy.

Meanwhile, the weather cooperated during the Aug. 13-21 MontanaFair at the MetraPark facility.

Large events such as concerts by Jason Aldean, Scorpions and Hinder, originally scheduled for the arena, were moved to the grandstands and went off without a hitch, the paper said.