Wind straightens out a crooked Wapato barn - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wind straightens out a crooked Wapato barn

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WAPATO, WA - People across the country make money flipping houses, including one Yakima contractor who found an old barn in Wapato she wanted to save. But there was a problem - it looked more like the leaning tower of Pisa until a twist of fate changed everything.

A year and a half ago, Lidia Partida saw so much potential in a piece of land with a barn that was built in the 1950's.

"The property's surrounded by wineries so we had wanted to save it so that we could reuse the barn wood to rebuild it," Partida said.

When her business, Partida/Cole LLC bought it, the barn was leaning pretty bad. Against all odds, the barn somehow survived after last year's abnormally snowy winter. But they didn't think it would make it through this year, so they bought hop poles to help hold it up.

"The wind normally comes from the side of the barn, which is why it was leaning that direction (pointing south) because the wind would blow it so much that it had no choice but to lean that way," Partida explained.

Three weeks ago, Lidia was in a meeting discussing that it would cost $5,000 to rent equipment to properly disassemble the barn. In the middle of the meeting she got a call, but she ignored it. When she called the person back they told her something had happened to the barn: the wind had straightened it out!

"I told him not to lie to me, because it's not nice to lie," Partida said. "I didn't believe it, I had to come see for myself."

When Partida got to the property she saw for herself. The barn looked totally different. She also had dozens of pictures on her phone to compare just how much the barn had moved. But that wasn't the only evidence: all she had to do was look at the hop poles.

"When the wind straightened it out they slid down to the position they're at now and they scratched the side of the barn in the process," she explained.

And when she took a step inside the barn, the beams were flat against the ground for the first time in years.

"When they straightened out the beams, the nails didn't go back in by themselves. So the nails continued to stick out of the beams."

Partida estimated that the barn moved about two feet, which as it turned out made the 60-year-old windows become functional again.

Partida and her business partner are willing to walk into the barn, something they wouldn't have done if Mother Nature didn't get involved in helping them flip this barn.

"It's hard to believe," said Partida. "It's hard for me to believe being the person that's seen it before and after too... it's still hard to believe that it happened."

Partida has big plans for the barn and the property - the barn would be the main attraction in a bed and breakfast. She plans to rebuild the barn using as much of the original material as possible and wants to put a wine tasting room on the top and open a restaurant on the first floor. Around the rest of the property would be cabins for people to stay.

Partida hopes to have the entire project finished in two years.

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