Snow storm leads to at least 12 area barn roofs collapsing

By: Amelia Cerling Email
By: Amelia Cerling Email

Mother Nature made her presence known this weekend to a dozen farmers in Dunn, Pepin and Buffalo counties.

At least 12 barn roofs collapsed on Saturday due to the nearly two feet of snow that fell over the course of the snowstorm.

We visited Churchview Dairy in Pepin County on Monday, the owners tell us they were both inside their 13-year-old barn Saturday evening when the roof caved in.

“I heard a big gust of wind and the barn kinda shook, and then my brother came in and says the roof just collapsed,” co-owner of Churchview Dairy Gary Bauer says.

The site is impressive. But Bauer says the roof collapse has been a huge mess for his family.

“Well right now it's a headache, because there's no roof over the barn, the barns all cold, the manures in there, that's freezing up in there, it's making it tough, it's cold,” he tells us.

And it's a problem Bauer thought he'd never have to deal with

“Too much snow, one time,” he says. And when we asked if this had ever happened before, “Nope, never thought it would,” he replies.

And in fact, extension agent Bob Cropp says most farmers shouldn't have had to worry about this.

“For the most part these barns are built for a very heavy snow load,” Cropp explains.

And he adds most of the barn roofs that caved in are relatively new, and all were built up to farm building standards.

He says this roof collapse and the nearly dozen others in the area are proof that Mother Nature can still get the best of us.

“A reminder that we can't build every building to the kind of specifications that can handle every part of nature that's out there,” he says.

Cropp says that the blowing wind on Saturday also played a major role in these roof collapses. He says in many cases, the wind carried most or all of the snow from one side of a roof to the other side, which often led to a collapse.

Churchview Dairy lost six cows during it's roof collapse on Saturday, but the Bauer say they're lucky they didn't lose a lot more.

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