Roofs collapse from snow in Carroll Three buildings cave in; no one is injured


The roofs of three buildings collapsed from heavy snow in Carroll County yesterday, causing substantial damage but no injuries. Roofs also fell in on at least three other structures in the region earlier in the week.

The roofs of the three Carroll County buildings -- a bowling center in Westminster, a farm building outside New Windsor and a sign shop near Eldersburg -- collapsed within an hour of each other late yesterday morning.

A third of Angie and Norm Rebert's bowling alley was destroye at 11 a.m. More than 30 inches of snow was on the roof.

From the south, Westminster's Thunderhead Bowling center looked normal. But on the north side, roof trusses, insulation and lockers full of bowling equipment were exposed to the elements. About 10 bowling trophies lined up on a filing cabinet were slowly being buried as the snow continued to fall.

County building inspectors condemned the structure, an yesterday afternoon workers with heavy equipment tore it down.

Another roof collapsed at 10:30 a.m. in a farm building at Mill Dale Egg Farm at 3200 Mill Dale Lane, just north of New Windsor.

An hour later, employees at Shannon Baum Sign Co. near Eldersburg heard cracking noises and saw the roof bowing inward, fire officials said. About a dozen employees quickly left as a section of tin roof, approximately 75 feet by 50 feet, collapsed.

In Columbia, a roof at the Oakland Ridge industrial park at 9104 Red Branch Road buckled Thursday afternoon after snow slid from a two-story building onto the adjacent one-story building.

Howard County fire officials evacuated the building after snow and water began leaking through the roof. A Howard County building inspector condemned part of the building.

"The roof started sagging and suddenly it was raining inside," said David M. Hammerman, the director of Howard's Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits. "It's kind of scary."

Earlier in the week, the roofs of a metal-plating company in East Baltimore and the Tennis Club of Harford County in Bel Air collapsed.

While roofs at businesses and farms have collapsed, local roofers say homes have suffered little more than leaks that can't be prevented in a storm of the magnitude of the ones this week.

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