Heavy ice, snow causing roofs to collapse

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 1/14/97.

Besides blocking roads and making travel hazardous, heavy snow is also damaging roofs on buildings. A number of farm buildings throughout the region have been damaged. Among those are Louis Vossen and Dave Buermann, rural Paynesville.

On Sunday morning, Jan. 5, Vossen noticed the roof on a storage shed had collapsed. The 40 by 110-foot all steel building had caved in under the weight of the snow. Vossen had hay and farm equipment stored in the building. Earl Stang and Vossen were able to remove the hay from the shed, but found the three bale wagons were the only thing holding up the roof. Vossen said the building was about 20 years old.

A few miles down the road, the roof on a dairy barn at the Dave Buermann farm collapsed on Saturday morning, Jan 4. Buermann had just finished milking and had gone into the house. A short while later the milk truck driver came walking up to the house asking Buermann if he knew what had happened to his dairy barn. Buermann said it appears the front wall of the haybarn fell forward when the roof collapsed. There is about 1,500 to 2,000 bales of hale trapped under the roof.

ďWe are lucky we can still milk the cows in the lower half,Ē Buermann said. The Buermanns have braced up the hay barn floor above the cows. At present he is milking about 40 cows.

Gordon Gully, rural Paynesville, lost the top story of a two-story building due to ice build-up sometime Friday night, Jan. 3 and Saturday morning, Jan. 4. They have reinforced the lower level to prevent the rest of the building from collapsing.

Ron Thorson, rural Hawick, lost a 40 by 60-foot machine shed. Trapped inside were tractors, a truck, and their pontoon. Thorson said Keith Lang helped them get the roof off the items so they could get things out. ďI was afraid if more snow fell, if would add more weight to the already 11 inches on the roof. The ice and rain really added a lot of weight to the roof,Ē he added.

Dennis Keller, rural Paynesville, had his spring planting and tillage equipment, a tractor and truck stored in a 40 by 90-foot machine shed on the Walter Peterson farm. ďEverything is trapped,Ē he said. ďI canít get at anything without fear more of the roof will collapse.Ē The building was built in the lae 1960s.

The roof of the Belgrade Fire Departmentís meeting room collapsed Monday morning, Jan. 6. Fire chief, Jim Lemmer, estimated the damage to the building at about $40,000.

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