MOORHEAD — St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church will relocate services to two local churches after a significant roof collapse last Sunday, March 10, left a considerable gap in the dining and kitchen portion of the building.
No one was in the building at 601 15th Ave. N. when the collapse occurred at 9 a.m., according to a church administrator. There were no injuries, but the building is out of commission until it has been deemed safe by a structural engineer and inspected by the city of Moorhead.
Saturday night mass will instead be at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, English mass at 10:30 a.m. and Spanish mass at noon on Sunday, March 17, at St. Elizabeth Church, 207 Main St. N., in Dilworth, Minn.
The Moorhead Knights of Columbus Lenten Fish Fry has been relocated to St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 218 10th St. S., Moorhead. The fish fry is from 5 to 7 p.m. during the five remaining Fridays of Lent.
Church staff are working from their homes and available via cell phone as they prepare for the upcoming rain, snow and wind this week, according to the church release.
Crews worked the last few days to remove snow from the remaining portions of roof to prevent further damage following the collapse. Power was restored to the south half of the building, severed water and gas lines were capped and temporary electric heaters were installed.
According to Moorhead Assistant Fire Chief Benton Hicks, about 3 to 4 feet of snow covered the roof in some portions following a snow storm that dropped 9 inches of snow in Moorhead over the weekend.
In a preliminary determination, fire officials found that the cause of the collapse was the snow load on the roof, but structural engineers are expected to look into whether there were any other contributing factors, Hicks said.
The office and church portions of the building, which was completed in 1996, appeared undamaged but were being inspected for safety, according to Our Northland Diocese, the diocese newspaper.