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Roof Collapses Becoming A Problem In The High Country

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LEADVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – The snow has been falling non-stop in the high country, and while the ski resorts love it, it’s becoming a safety concern in some spots.

The Office of Emergency Management says they don’t want to see another roof collapse incident.

The roof collapse at the Sayer & McKee building in Leadville (credit: CBS)

The roof collapse at the Sayer & McKee building in Leadville (credit: CBS)

“We’ve gotten either record or near record snowfall,” Lake County Emergency Manager Mike McHargue said.

With piles in the streets and stacks on top of houses and buildings, the snow is becoming s nuisance in Leadville. Emergency officials hope people will be work to prevent tragedy.

“To get people thinking about looking up at your roof and considering how heavy that snow is and considering the fact that more snow (is coming),” McHargue said. “We want to be proactive and remove that snow so that we’re ready for actually the next wave.”

CBS4’s Jeff Todd found one resident Thursday afternoon who couldn’t believe all the snow.

“We have lived here 17 years and nothing like this,” the man said. “It’s been just absolutely great for the mountain, but not for the house. We’re soon going to have a tunnel to get out of the house.”

Officials are hoping to keep more roof collapses from happening.

“Sayer & McKee, which is an historic building, the roof collapsed. Now it’s under investigation on whether or not it was a snow load or a combination of other things, but it did collapse, and certainly that gave us reason to pause,” McHargue said.

While the snow is a problem, now the next concern is ice. The next system is supposed to be a warm snowstorm followed by warmer temperatures, and with the freeze-thaw cycle, there’s even more concern for roofs.

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