Roof collapses at Road Commission facility in Howard City


By Curtis Wildfong • Last Updated 11:02 am on Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A roof of a storage building at the Road Commission of Montcalm County facility on M-46 near Howard City collapsed under the weight of rain soaked snow and high winds Thursday. The building housed several pieces of equipment. The extent of the damage won’t be known until the roof is removed. — Courtesy photo

HOWARD CITY — When nearly a half-inch of rain fell Thursday the mounds of snow acted as a sponge, soaking it up. Although it helped prevent major flooding, the compacted snow presented a new problem … the weight.

The shear volume of the rain-soaked snow became too much to bear for the roof of a storage building at the Road Commission of Montcalm County’s facility on M-46 near Howard City.

The entire roof of the 60-by-100-foot structure collapsed, presumably from the weight of the snow and high winds, which exceeded 40 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

Crews are working this morning at removing debris from a collapsed roof at a storage building at the Road Commission of Montcalm County facility near Howard City. Once the roof is removed, the commission can assess the damage to the equipment inside. — Courtesy photo

“The whole flipping thing fell in,” said Managing Director Mark Christensen. “When I got to the garage at about 5:30 a.m. (Friday), I noticed the damage.”

The building housed spare plow trucks, a pickup truck with a plow, tractors and some additional summer equipment, Christensen said. The damage to the equipment is unknown, he added, as the fallen roof has yet to be extracted.

“Until we start to pull the roof off, we won’t know how much damage there is,” he said.

Crews will begin this morning removing the roof from the structure, Christensen said, after which an assessment on the damage can be conducted.

Heavy rain also contributed to a partial collapse of a portion of the roof at Keyston Automotive on Vining Road in Greenville.

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