By ELLEN BECKER
(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – City Manager Paula Hertwig-Hopkins declared a state of emergency at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday as some 10 inches of snow blanketed the area overnight, adding to the heavy snowfall from last week.
Downed trees covered roads and two roofs collapsed on local businesses.
Plow trucks have opened major arterial roads and will be working on residential streets through the evening, Hertwig-Hopkins said.
There were two reported roof collapses in Warrensburg, including Arwood’s Furniture & Mattress at 801 Pride Ave. on the northeast side of town. An employee said the roof collapsed early this morning due to the heavy, wet snow accumulation.
The roof also collapsed on a towing company in the 300 block of East Gay Street, Hertwig-Hopkins said. She said the towing company had recently towed vehicles from emergency snow routes at the city’s request. However, she could not confirm whether those vehicles were in the area of the roof collapse.
The collapse at Arwood’s created an opening in the side of the building, and broke a sprinkler pipe, causing water and structural damage. There was standing water and damage from the front of the store to the back.
The Warrensburg Fire Department arrived to assess the damage and turn off the water.
The employee, who asked to remain nameless, said they were mopping up the water, contacting their venders regarding deliveries, and answering phone calls from media and other people.
“We feel like we’re very fortunate that no one was injured,” the employee said. “We were in the building, but there were no employees in that area.”
Hertwig-Hopkins said the emergency declaration would enable the city to seek state or federal reimbursement should funds become available. Fire Chief Phil Johnston added that the declaration alerts residents to a dangerous situation and enables a city to request assistance from agencies such as the National Guard.
According to a post on warrensburg-mo.com, “Building owners, especially owners of buildings with flat roofs, are cautioned to listen for creaks and groans as there is potential for a roof collapse due to the heavy amount of snow loads.”
For updates and other information, visit the city’s website at www.warrensburg-mo.com.
Vehicle owners can call the police dispatch non-emergency number, 747-2265, if their vehicle was towed from an emergency snow route.