PHOTOS: 2 homes collapse under heavy snow load in B.C.

Second Nakusp home in eight days caves in from snow load on roof

A Nakusp woman escaped unharmed after the house collapsed around her.

A Nakusp woman escaped unharmed after the house collapsed around her.

Nakusp’s fire chief says residents should check their roofs after two houses in the village collapsed from the weight of snow in the last week.

“In 35 years I haven’t seen anything like this happen,” said Terry Warren. “People should have a good look at their roofs… this is snow like we used to get in the 60s.”

Emergency crews responded to a call Monday at 3 p.m. after a house collapsed on 7th Ave.

A woman was in the home, but escaped unharmed with her pets.

RELATED: Rossland City Hall roof partially collapses

The house was completely demolished under the weight of the snow. A car parked on the side of the building was buried when the carport collapsed. The walls of a new garage at the back of the building were blown outward, and lumber and other materials were strewn around. A front porch collapsed under the weight as well.

Firefighters cordoned off the area, and ordered hydro and water to the building cut.

“We don’t know what happened,” said homeowner Lloyd Coates, surveying the damage. “We don’t have any idea. The roof came down.”

Later Coates posted to a community Facebook page, “Well, it looks like I will be looking for a place to rent, must be pet friendly.”

Coates and his wife were put up in emergency shelter for the evening, and the community began to rally behind the couple. Posts on Facebook called for clothes and essentials for the pair, until insurance help kicks in.

It’s the second house collapse in eight days in Nakusp. On February 25th the roof of a mobile home on 9th Ave. caved in, trapping a resident inside. Emergency crews had to extract the person, who was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries.

Nakusp fire chief Terry Warren says homeowners should check their roof and shovel it off if it looks overburdened.

“People don’t realize there are tons and tons of snow on their roofs right now,” he says. “There’s been a cycle of melting, snowing, freezing, melting, etc. It may look like the snow has gone down, but it is super-heavy up there.”

A local builder says it can be difficult to tell if a roof or building is at the point of collapse.

“There’s no obvious ways to predict if they are going to fall down or stay up,” says Dave Madden. He suggests people can check for things like cracking drywall, or doors and windows that won’t open all of a sudden.

“Some of these houses are pretty old, and were built before building codes, inspections or proper engineering,” he says.

Madden says he heard of two local buildings that collapsed under the weight of snow last year, one in Hills and one near Nakusp.

“So it does happen,” he says.

Meanwhile, Nakusp’s fire chief is urging people to use caution when clearing their roofs.

“Be careful. You don’t want to fall off your roof,” says Warren.

“But check your snow load. If you have overhanging eaves or porch roofs that have been extended, or garages, those seem to be the most susceptible.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Cindy Coates was in the building but escaped unhurt when the building collapsed around her.

Cindy Coates was in the building but escaped unhurt when the building collapsed around her.

The walls of the back of the garage are blown outward, completely destroying the structure.

The walls of the back of the garage are blown outward, completely destroying the structure.

Lloyd Coates (right) speaks with emergency officials after the building was secured.

Lloyd Coates (right) speaks with emergency officials after the building was secured.

Nakusp’s fire chief says garages and roof extensions seem particularly vulnerable to collapse.

Nakusp’s fire chief says garages and roof extensions seem particularly vulnerable to collapse.

Just Posted

Vaccinations are set to resume in the small community of Tatchet, according to Lake Babine Nation’s Deputy Chief. (Black Press Media file photo)
Lake Babine Nation vaccine rollout resumes after a short pause

A COVID positive test within the care team had put the vaccinations on hold

Cheslatta Chief Corrina Leween received one of the COVID-19 vaccines on the Southside, on Wednesday, Jan. 13. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
COVID-19 vaccination begins in Burns Lake

Senior population, health care workers and First Nations among the first to get the vaccine

Sasquatch sighting. (Omineca Ski Club photo/Lakes District News)
Sasquatch on the loose at Omineca Ski Club

Head out to the trails to see if you can spot it; a tongue-in-cheek response from the club President

Two books in particular became quite popular at the start of the pandemic — Soap and Water Common Sense, The definitive guide to viruses’ bacteria, parasites, and disease and The Great Influenza, The story of the deadliest pandemic in history. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake Public Library lent 20,916 books in 2020

Gained 67 new patrons throughout the year

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read