Rain causes building's roof to collapse near Texas Tech - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/16/10

Rain causes building's roof to collapse near Texas Tech

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – One local business is a total loss. The weight of the rain water was simply too much for The Nest's roof to bear. Emergency crews evacuated five businesses and early Friday evening tore down part of the building near 13th and University.

The empty space was a little boutique store called The Nest. City inspectors surveyed the damage and for safety reasons crews used a bulldozer to bring down the corner of the building. "We've been able to see them (the cracks) growing and get bigger," said Richard Morin who works in a nearby building.

Inspectors determined the roof ceiling collapsed. Cracks in the outside walls of the building were visible from the road. The amount and weight of the rain was simply too much for the building. "It was pretty typical of a roof that has inadequate drainage and due to extraordinary weight of water ponding on roof it collapsed," said Chief Building Officer with the City of Lubbock Steve O'Neal.

"I'm still shaken to be honest with you," said Angelo Rosendo who had no idea that the wrath of the storm would find a way inside his salon Friday afternoon. The damaged building houses his salon, Bar PM and three other businesses.

"All of a sudden I'm shampooing a customer's hair and I started to hear this noise and it sounded like a freight train or bomb or something. I grabbed my girl and said we got to run up front saw the dust settle," said Rosendo while he stood in the rain outside his business. He said there were a few leaks in his salon.   

Emergency crews evacuated the entire building near the Texas Tech campus around 1:30 Friday afternoon. Witnesses who had the chance to look at the collapsed roof from the top of a nearby building say the roof over The Nest caved in.

Within hours, city crews determined it was necessary to tear the damaged portion of the building down. "There are standards for that in new construction with a minimum amount of drainage required. For this building, it would not meet the standards if it were constructed today," said O'Neal.

Security officers will watch the building. Thankfully, no one was injured. The Nest was closed Friday so no one was inside at any point during the day.

City inspectors say the next step is for the building owner to contract a structural engineer. It could be days before the other businesses in the building open back up. 

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