Buildings collapse from heavy snow

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MARQUETTE COUNTY- The Negaunee Public Schools bus garage collapsed under the weight of the snow, with 16 buses inside. School officials are assessing the situation that includes a broken sprinkler system. Negaunee schools were scheduled to be closed today.  

Another roof collapsed at Shunk Furniture in Negaunee Township.

“The roof came down and just the concussion of that and the air pressure blew the windows – not all of the windows out of the front of the store,” said Carl Shunk Jr., Store Manager of Shunk Furniture. “So our natural reaction was shock and awe but once we got in and assessed the damage. Our store will be up and operational, but there’s actually one portion of the store that will have to be shutdown.”

And, the damage estimate is still being calculated.

“When that section went down, it’s kind of its own separate gallery area and with exception of where the roof was torn from one of the other sections;  the other three sections of the store, we had a structural engineer look at it and said they’re still intact and good but we still want professionals to look at it before we give the thumbs up,” said Shunk.

No one really wants to do the back-breaking work of shoveling off a roof …. But, in some cases, it’s a necessity. 

“The first buildings to be concerned about are the pole buildings, the large-span pole buildings with truss spacings of eight foot or greater,” said Gary Niemela, Owner of Skandia Truss.”Those are usually the ones to be concerned about. Probably want to take the heavy snowload off. If the snowload is three to four feet deep on those, you’re going to want to do something,” said Niemela.

So, how much is too much snow on your roof? And do you really need to clear it?  We’ll look at the engineering and safety aspects tomorrow night. 

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