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911 center's roof worries officials

February 28, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Snow and water that accumulated on the roof of Jefferson County's 911 dispatching center last Saturday was so heavy it caused the building's roof to sag, county officials said Thursday.

Officials feared the roof could collapse, said Jefferson County Commission President Jane Tabb.

To prevent the roof from giving way, rescue workers used pumps to remove much of the water from the top of the building, which is on Wilshire Road in Bardane, Tabb said.

About 40 volunteers helped to shovel the slush off the roof, said Jefferson County Administrator Leslie Smith.

Smith and Tabb joined in the effort, Smith said.

The snow was about 11/2 feet deep, said Smith.

The commissioners discussed the situation at their meeting Thursday morning.

Commissioner Al Hooper suggested a structural engineer examine the building to make sure it is safe.

Smith said that has been done.

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Smith said the building is well-designed and responded exactly as it was supposed to. The support beams were shoved down under the load of snow, but went back into place once the snow was removed, Smith said.

In addition to the 911 dispatching center, a number of government agencies are housed in the building, including the Jefferson County Health Department, the West Virginia University Extension office, the Red Cross and the Jefferson County Development Authority.

Snow from the severe storm that hit the area over Presidents Day weekend dumped about 2 feet of snow and caused damage to buildings in the area.

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