71 Building Collapses Reported in Massachusetts Since Last Week

Heavy snow and frigid temperatues in New England contributed to additional instances of roofs collapsing and buildings sustaining damage

Heavy snow and frigid temperatues in New England contributed to additional instances of roofs collapsing and buildings sustaining damage.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said there have been 71 building collapses in Massachusetts since Feb. 9 - 44 over the last two days alone. Since 9 p.m. Monday night, building collapses were reported in Billerica, Everett, Middleborough, North Attleboro, Hanover and Whitman.

In North Attleboro, there is the imminent threat of a collapse at the entrance to the town's high school. A custodian noticed structural damage while clearing snow around one of the school entrances and called the fire department just after 9 a.m. Tuesday to report a wall buckled near the roof line.

A handful of people were evacuated and a building inspector responded to the scene to survey the damage. Very few people were inside the building because it is a school vacation week.

Crews in Newington, New Hampshire, responded to a business roof collapse Tuesday morning at 170 Shattuck Way, a Georgia-Pacific business building. Police said the building was unoccupied.

The building was evacuated on Monday when a worker heard some kind of sound from the roof.  A structural engineer went back to the site Tuesday and saw there was more damage. No one was hurt.

Two school districts in New Hampshire were also closed Tuesday because of roof concerns. Crews spent the day clearing snow, while engineers checked structural integrity of the buildings.

Seventh grader Josh King was dismissed at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

"Our principal came in saying everyone had to evacuate the eighth grade wing," he said.

Superintendent Brian Blake said ceilings in several classrooms were buckling.

When we asked whether or not Josh was scared, he said, "No, I was more happy that school got canceled."

Josh's mom, Renee, said she can work from home so her kids aren't alone on days like this, but some parents aren't so lucky.

"This is a small town and a great community and everybody relies on everybody, so already I am seeing posts on Facebook like, 'I can watch so-and-so's kids if you need me,'" King said.

All of the approximately 1,600 students in the Sanborn Regional School District had the day off Tuesday as a safety precaution as crews clear snow and engineers inspect inside.

"The winds recently have combined to cause the havoc for us," Blake said. "It's not so much the amount of snow we have, it's the drifting."

It's the same story about a half hour away in Epping.

"The snow... covered my windows right to the top, there is no skylight whatsoever," said ninth grade English teacher Minot Granbery. "Like a snow cave."

The snow was enough to cause some cracking in the Epping elementary school Monday so the building was evacuated, and the entire district was closed Tuesday.

"It's the most snow I've seen since being in New Hampshire and I have been here 20 years," Granbery said.

Both districts are working to get all kids back to school Wednesday. but there has been no final decision yet.

Blake said the middle school may take longer to reopen. Even when the kids do go back, they won't be able to use the eighth grade wing.

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