Part of the facade of the BJ’s Wholesale Club in Columbia collapsed Thursday evening, according to the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.
While the facade of the building in the Snowden Square Shopping Center collapsed after severe storms rolled through the area Thursday, it is unclear if the storms were responsible, according to Adam Nolder, a spokesperson for the fire department.
“Water got in it and behind it,” Nolder said Friday. “It could have been a blocked storm drain.”
The store was evacuated and closed as a precaution Thursday evening. However, the building received no structural damage and was open for business Friday morning.
The department said store management and the county’s Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits will be handling the investigation moving forward.
Howard County received little damage Thursday after the series of strong storm cells moved through the area, according to Mike Hinson, director of Howard County Office of Emergency Management.
“I’ve been around this for a while, and it was truly an exceptional day for the amount of energy in the air,” Hinson said Friday. “Overall, it could have been worse. There was only minor damage.”
The county did not have any major power outages, and no roadways were closed, according to Hinson.
“[Thursday] was a good example of how important it is to have emergency alerts on people’s cellphones.” Hinson said. “There were some pretty severe cells moving through the area.”