Mother Nature has dropped a lot of snow on the streets and rooftops in northern Michigan this year. Yesterday, one county road commission's roof got just a little too heavy, and it started caving in.
Wexford County Road Commission manager, Alan Cooper, went to leave work for the day on Thursday as usual. But as he walked down the hallway, he realized that the ceiling in one of their meeting rooms was about 15 inches lower than normal.
"I turned around in the hallway and one of the tiles was hanging down, and I walked up to look at it and when I turned and looked into the room, I saw that the roof had collapsed down," said Cooper. "It was hanging down about 14-15 inches."
After removing some tiles and insulation, they were able to see that the steel beams were beginning to twist and bend front the heavy snow on the roof. The Wexford County Road Commission has several different sized rooftops, and Cooper says the higher one causes drifts to fall onto the lower one.
"We've had that much snow on the roof for as long as I can remember, and we've never had a problem with the roof collapsing," said Cooper.
Workers from Bigelow Exteriors worked several hours on Thursday to brace the roof with wooden beams. On Friday, they worked all day to remove nearly 10 feet deep snow from the roof, but say it will take several more days while they try to clear off the other ones.
One employee said it's been a busy year for cleaning rooftops all over the area.
"The amount of snow we've gotten is a lot more than previous years," said Derek Collins."
The Road Commission plans to have all of the snow cleared off, and to close off the room until the Spring when the roof can be fixed. The office will be closed to the public for a few days but you can still call them with any road questions or concerns. Officials say that the department is otherwise running like normal.