The shed at the Kurt Fier farm is typical of the damage caused by the snow.The weight of snow was a little much for a portion of the building owned by Guy Jeremiason.

Roofs are falling down

Lots of snow, heavy ice — and now this — roofs are caving in all around the area. Heavy snow and ice are too much for some roofs, especially the older buildings.

“The roof going down is not the end of the headache. It’s everything that’s inside,” said Ken DeBaere, who carries insurance on many sheds and barns for Doyle Insurance of Minneota.

On Monday morning, his telephone was ringing often with calls from worried property owners.

“A lot of calls are asking if they have coverage,” in case of roof collapses. Across the area, a lot of older sheds have collapsed and in some cases, barns.

It’s become sort of an epidemic in the area. With rain forecast for Wednesday, the panic button is being pushed and many owners are getting the snow shoveled off their sheds and barns.

“Our coverage excludes hoop barns,” said DeBaere.

“Most of the problems are with older buildings, some that were ready to fall down,” he added. There are questions about how much the insurance plans cover ... such as machinery inside the building.

“The machinery is covered, if you have coverage. The owner of the building is responsible for that coverage,” said DeBaere. Many people rent buildings to house their machinery.

“With the rain coming, it could help or hurt,” the situation”, he said. “It could make the snow slide off or it could it heavier,” DeBaere added.

Kevin Jerzak of the Minneota Building Center said he’s had calls asking for repairs to fallen buildings.

“Hog barns, cattle barns, hay barns are in danger,” he said. One customer has already, “Ordered rafters.”

Jerzak said the older buildings are in the most trouble. “A lot of them were built in the late 80s and early 90s,” he said.

He too had worries about the impending rain compounding the problem.

“The snow may suck it up and hold it and make it worse,” said Jerzak. He’s already been to the site of one downed shed and indicated there was considerable damage.

“There’s a worry now about ice jams,” Jerzak added.

State Farm Bank Insurance agent Kevin Amundson said, “A lot of sheds have gone down.”

DeBaere said he was informed the area has had 96 inches of snow this winter.

“Last year, we had 45 inches at this time and ended up with 82 inches,” he quoted his source as saying. So with more winter yet to go, it’s likely the area will add more snow to the 96 inch total.

DeBaere said, “Ten more hoop barns went down last weekend.” He indicated those not “heavy duty” are in a position to go down.

“It has a lot to do with barns not protected,” he indicated.

“My house (south of Ghent) has a tin roof and is very steep. And this is the first time in 10 years the snow did NOT slide off,” said DeBaere.

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