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BOSTON — This week's two-day storm is gone, but the state's roofs are still feeling the impact.
There were multiple reports of roofs collapsing under the weight of snow across Massachusetts Thursday, adding to an unprecedented list of post-storm structural failures. There have been more than 70 collapses reported this week.
Firefighters on Thursday responded to a massive roof collapse in Chelsea as officials said a Vernon Street auto shop caved in at 9 a.m.
No injuries were reported, but neighboring buildings had to be evacuated.
Rob Giordano was outside clearing snow from a nearby property when the auto shop collapsed.
"I could hear like crackling and then we came and we looked out back and the whole building was pretty much gone behind our house," he said. "All outside just rubble. And the building next to it on the left, you could see that one is starting to come apart also."
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In Jamaica Plain, an entire abandoned building collapsed Wednesday night. In Lincoln, a shopping center was closed Thursday after a roof buckled under the weight of snow. Peabody and Hingham schools closed Thursday out of concern over the roofs.
Westford Schools Superintendent Everett Olsen evacuated a building that houses administration offices and a preschool.
"We noticed that several ceiling tiles seemed to have shifted, some sprinkler heads had separated a little bit at various locations of the building, which is generally an indicator of stress on the roof," he said.
Peter Judge, of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, says it's a problem all over.
"It's an incredibly sizable number," he said. "Usually when we have this type of event with this type of weather, we're talking three or four around the entire state. So the conditions were ripe."
Judge says now that the storm has ended, people should take time to clear the snow from roofs.
"That's sort of our No. 1 concern over the next few days because there's a potential another storm coming in over the weekend and that's gonna be added weight out there and in some cases, it's just gonna be the straw that broke the camel's back," Judge said.
Judge says most homes with slanted roofs should be safe. For flat roofs, he recommends people use snow rakes and stay on the ground as they clear their roofs, or hire professional crews.
This program aired on February 3, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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