Fearing snowmelt damage, volunteers shovel roof of school in Fisher, Minnesota

WDAY
WDAY

FISHER, Minn. — Two winter storms that hit the Red River Valley this week caused a spate of roof collapses across the region, and a northwest Minnesota community took no risks after its public school was buried under a foot of snow.

Residents of Fisher, a city of around 400 just 15 miles southeast of Grand Forks, worked to shovel off the roof of their public school, Friday, March 15. The structure is believed to be sound, but in order to prevent roof leaks, roughly a dozen students, staff and members of the community came together to help clear snow.

"My back's a little bit sore, but I guess it feels good. I'm getting my steps in for the day," said student Hayden Reitmeier. "Believe it or not I like going to school. It's important that we're able to keep going to school and not miss days."

Fisher Public School Superintendent Evan Hanson says the structure is still sound.

"I don't think that's been an issue yet,” Hanson said. “We're trying to be proactive and make sure that it isn't."

Leaking has been the biggest problem for the school, and with warm weather just around the corner the school doesn't want pools of water stuck on the roof.

Hanson says snow buildup on the roof hasn't been a problem for many years.

"Talking to our custodian —who's been here for a dozen years — never has he seen this much snow," he said.

Volunteers couldn't get all of the snow off the roof on Friday, but they managed to clear drains. When the snow does melt, they're hoping it'll quickly drain off of the roof instead of seeping through the ceiling.

"Everyone sticks together. Everybody knows each other," said class of 2013 alum Grant Egeland, describing how close-knit the small community is. "So when they need something done people come and help out."