Roof Snow Pack Forces Macy's Evacuation, Close In Overland Park | KCUR

Roof Snow Pack Forces Macy's Evacuation, Close In Overland Park

Feb 27, 2013

Macy’s store at Metcalf South Shopping Center will stay closed for repair after emergency evacuation today.

The temporary and voluntary closing was prompted by structural problems from snow on the roof.

Later this morning the Overland Park Fire Department was called to look over stability of the roof because someone at the store noticed saggy ceiling tiles. They found up to four feet of wet snow accumulated.

Firefighters decided it was safest to evacuate employees and shoppers and they did.

Overland Park building inspectors and a private structural engineer were called to draw up a repair plan.

Overland Park  Codes Administrator Tim Ryan wants other owners or occupants of flat roof buildings to have them checked for structural soundness.

The immense weight of snow on Macy’s  caused steel to bend or “deflect” under what Ryan estimates to be a forty-foot diameter area, very rarely do we ever see anything like that.”

Once contractors get snow off Macy’s roof, inspectors will have to approve its condition before the store is reopened.

Ryan says homeowners with flat roofs would be wise to carefully remove heavy snow buildup for the same safety reasons, although he says most houses have a steep pitch  to roofs and snow clears itself. 

Snow heavy enough to do this to a Kansas City apple tree was magnified thousands of times on store roof before evacuation.
Credit Dan Verbeck / KCUR