Roof collapses on unoccupied Anchorage commercial building with heavy snow load

Feb. 7—The roof of an unoccupied building northeast of downtown Anchorage partially collapsed early Wednesday under a heavy snow load, according to the fire department.

Officials were notified just before 6 a.m. of the collapse at 2116 N. Post Road in the Ship Creek area, the department said in a statement.

The roof hadn't been cleared and the weight of the snow likely contributed to the collapse, said Ross Noffsinger, the city's acting head building official. The building's age and the fact that it hadn't been maintained and was abandoned may also have been factors, he said.

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There have been 10 collapses so far this season in Anchorage, including two last weekend. Snow has fallen at a record pace so far this winter, with the city receiving more than 9 feet of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

City officials have warned more than 1,000 commercial property owners that their roofs could be at risk of failure because of the record-breaking snow loads.

Flat-roofed buildings with wooden truss beams connected with metal gang nail plates built before 1990 are particularly at risk of collapse, officials have said. It wasn't immediately known if the building that collapsed Wednesday had that type of truss, Noffsinger said.