Roof collapses shut down IGA and Buffalo Center Service | Local

A partial roof collapse at the IGA Food Cache on Sunday afternoon shut the store indefinitely, according to a post on the store’s Facebook page.

“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we must announce the temporary long-term closure of the store. Incredibly today our roof collapsed due to the recent snow and ice fall. At the moment, we are unable to give an answer on the duration of the closure. Unfortunately, we know it’s not anytime soon. We are at the mercy of the weather, engineers and adjusters. Thanks to everyone who reached out, we appreciate it. We hope to have answers before long and will update them as we have them. We are grateful to our community and are devastated to leave you without a source of power. We are currently working on solutions to provide a grocery source and hope to have one soon. “

No information is available as to the extent of damage to the store. Photos posted to Facebook that appear to have been taken through a window on the front of the store show debris in the area near the cash registers and the frozen food section of the store.

The only grocery store in Delta Junction, the store is a community staple and the only public grocery store. Those with military commissioner privileges have been and will continue to be able to shop at the commissioner of Fort Greely.

Early Sunday evening, the roof of the Buffalo Center Service garage section also collapsed. The store is currently closed. According to Eileen Herman, owner of Buffalo Center Service, once the building is inspected, they will consider how to proceed with the store. She said there was damage to the wall between the garage section of the building and the store area that needs to be assessed before the store reopens. The gas pumps are currently open and should remain so.

The two are certainly a catastrophic event for Larsons and Herman’s, and everyone employed by the stores, but the IGA event is catastrophic for the community. For those who cannot access the commissary, they will now have to make alternative arrangements for food and basic household supplies.

Some non-food items are transported by local hardware stores, but food, especially fruits and vegetables, is not available elsewhere.

For some who will have to make other food arrangements, it will simply be an inconvenience to travel to Fairbanks to replace items obtained from the IGA, but for some, traveling to Fairbanks is difficult due to their financial situation. or transport.

To deal with the crisis, a management team is being trained to help respond to the incident and the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been contacted to assist with the management efforts of the ‘incident.

Realizing the additional need for people to travel to Fairbanks, the EOC, which reports to the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, contacts the department. of Transportation to review and consider modifications to the winter maintenance of the Richardson Highway.

Currently, the Eielson South Road is a Category Two winter maintenance road and therefore receives less winter maintenance than other roads. The increase in essential traffic on the roadway must have better traveling conditions.

The team will immediately seek other options to provide food locally using local resources and resources outside the local area.

No injuries were reported in either case.

Roof collapse due to snow loads is a real concern when snow loads are heavier than normal. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has information on how to determine snow loads. In a previous article, Energy and Radon Specialist Art Nash explains how to find the snow load.

The article states that, based on advice provided by UAF Emeritus Professor Rich Seifert in the Spring 2011 Alaska Building Science Bulletin, the average roof has a snow load of 40 pounds per square foot.

Calculating the weight of snow requires knowing the depth of the snow and the water content of the snow. The SNOTEL website of the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service provides this information. The closest station to Delta Junction has a snow water content of 5.9 inches for this year at 7 p.m. Sunday night.

According to Seifert, an inch of water weighs 5.2 pounds, so the 5.9 inches of snow water equivalent reported to the station weighs just under 31 pounds per square foot.

Clearly below the standard roof load, many other factors can influence the actual weight of the load. Windblown snow can accumulate, increasing the depth of snow on the roof in a particular location. Different water contents and snow amounts in different areas can also cause large variations in the actual load weight. Different building standards and deterioration of materials can change the load capacity of a roof.

The article on the Cooperative Extension Service can be read on the Delta Wind website here.

According to Ed Plumb of the National Weather Service, the storm that likely caused the roof to collapse is expected to end on Sunday evening. A new weather system is expected to move quickly Monday night through Tuesday and provide another two to three inches of snow, followed by a third system Tuesday night through Wednesday that could provide more than six inches of snow. Temperatures are expected to climb to nearly 40 degrees on Monday morning and begin a gradual downward trend for the rest of the week.

Road conditions are still dangerous and a winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. Monday. Wind gusts of up to 30 mph are expected overnight Sunday through Monday.

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