We've Had Enough!

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Epic Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
Oct 4, 2012
Bend Oregon
Yesterday we lost a school building due to the heavy snow load. The entire roof on one of the elementary gyms let go. Fortunately it occurred prior to anyone arriving at the school. It could have been horrific if the kids had been there, During cold snow days they are put in the gym before school starts. Because of the collapse the school district immediately cancelled all school district wide so they can evaluate all of the buildings. So far they have found five other school buildings that have sagging ceilings and cracks forming at the walls. The school district may be forced to relocate kids a the affected schools to other schools if they cannot find a solution prior to the start of school on Tuesday.

We also lost three commercial buildings. All due to excessive snow loads. All total loses to buildings and contents. 

To give you an idea that gym had a full size basketball court (large portion) and a stage. Do to the damage it was deemed that the entire building needs to come down before students can uses the class rooms in the building next door. Demolition started yesterday and is expected to continue. The school building was built in 1910, the gym in 1950.

Just reported two more industrial building collapsed.

Crazy never seen anything like this before. This isn't the first time we've had snow like this either.

I think one contributing factor though is it usually melts off in a day or two. We haven't been above freezing in a month.

It's been a nightmare for us as designers. Lots of phone calls " is my roof going to be okay?"
Usually when we get that much (which I pray we don't) you will see a lot of flat top buildings with people on them running snowblowers. Not to sure that would be to safe to do there at this point.
Thank God school was closed when that happened. I hope the other buildings were empty as well and know one got hurt.

As snow melts the base layer soaks up the moisture. Gets heavy really quick.
Too many people don't realise how heavy snow is. Several years ago we were doing an event at the newly built Columbus, Ohio convention center with its fancy curved roof when there was a big snow drop. No problems until the inside temps melted a layer on the bottom and snow slid off to crush the roofs of several semi-trailers at the docks.
Thankfully the kids weren't in school in your case...
Glad no one was hurt! We've had a few collapses over here but nothing of that magnitude. You're right about the cause. The lack of time above freezing just compounds the issue. And the rain we did et just absorbed into the existing snow loads to add weight.
Scary stuff Case, glad no one was hurt ! We had a bunch of snow the last while, shoveled 3 ft off our roof last weekend before it rained Monday !
I was about to type the same exact thing!

Amazing how heavy snow can be.  Y'all stay safe and warm up there!
I second that!  A roof is replaceable. Definitely an eye opener anything is possible  for when Mother Nature rolls into town, ready or not !

In ND where I am at now, a few years back these huge 3 bladed wind turbines started to pop up all over the State. I got to see what happens to a vehicle that was parked to close for when the ice that was built up on those huge blades started to fall off.

Not a problem if it's not turning and the ice falls straight down to the ground. The vehicle looked as if it had been in a bad Halestorm, It didn't look to me like the vehicle was worth fixing after that. I am sure this wasn't something everyone was aware of at the time all these things were being put up.  In ND you can count on one hand how many times a year the wind DON'T blow,  around here it snows sideways ! So far this winter season we are at 56" and counting.   
We've been watching it on the news.

Stay safe guys!

Al if you like, we could all pitch in and have some trucked down to you in one of those large refrigerated trailers.
Stay safe! We just had a decent layer of ice last night here in south central PA, but nothing like what you and a good chunk of the country have been through. Thank God no one was in the school.
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