Crews tear down Worcester building after roof collapse
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Heavy snow caused part of a building in Worcester to collapse, and now crews are working to tear down what’s left of it.
The vacant house in Worcester was sacked by the awesome power of three feet of snow.
Neighbor Jimmy Power heard the collapse.
“It was a tremendous rumble, but it was the back wall evidently cracking and splitting apart. Right on the corner it split right down and it was kind of scary cause I had no idea what was happening,” said Powers.
The structure was so badly damaged that inspectors ordered an immediate demolition.
In Chelsea, 91-year-old Irene Sweeney got the scare of her life from the roof of a commercial building next door to that came down under the weight of snow. Concrete blocks from the walls crumbled into Irene’s home.
“I went out kitchen and all my cabinets were open. Everything was thrown all about,” said Sweeney.
“If you’ve got drifts, if you’ve got valleys on your house then you want to watch out for those,” said Joel Lunger.
Joel Lunger, a structural engineer, says structures in Massachusetts are built to withstand two to four feet of snow. But with 70 roof collapses in just two days we’ve obviously exceeded the threshold.
He says there are warning signs homeowners should look out for before a collapse like the one in Jamaica Plain, where there was only a wall left standing, or a roof collapse at a stable in Bolton.
“Look for cracks near the ceiling, look for crushing plaster right at the top of the wall where it meets the roof and you’ll get crumbs of plaster on the floor, and then the walls of the building might be bowing out,” said Lunger. “It’s telling you the roof is spreading out and wants to give.”
Lunger says if you cannot see any obvious cracks or bowing then you should listen for some creaks and moans.
The key is to remove the snow as safely as possible, and if you are unable to do so then you should seek a professional.
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