WATCH: Red River Valley Fairgrounds building roof collapses with 67 vehicles inside
WEST FARGO — A roof collapsed on a Red River Valley Fairgrounds building in West Fargo late Friday afternoon, March 15, with more than 60 vehicles stored for the winter inside.
Fair Association General Manager Bryan Schulz said staff were about to leave for the day when they discovered the collapse on the south side of the building at 4:45 p.m.
Officials said about 30 of the 67 vehicles, some of them classics, were damaged. Schultz said they either talked to or left a message for all of the owners of the vehicles.
The building damaged was Harvest Hall, which during the fair is used for arts and crafts exhibits, and is on the north side of the grounds.
A structural engineer was called in to check the safety of the rest of the roof and building and he told Schultz late Friday that they needed to continue the investigation of the building before allowing anyone inside. The evaluation probably won't be completed until Monday, he said.
Schulz said no one was in the building at the time and the utility company was called in to shut the power off.
The fairgrounds has about 27 buildings and he said operations crews had been removing snow from the roofs, but then another storm would hit "almost putting us back to start from the beginning again."
It was one of at least eight roof collapses in the Fargo-Moorhead area in the past 12 days. Nine inches of snow caused snow pack to grow last weekend, and is believed to be the reason for the string of mostly commercial building collapses. It's also thought that the matter has been made worse by high winds forming snow drifts on many roofs.