Wet snow blamed for roof collapses at West Bay Marina, Lacey Verizon store

A roof at the West Bay Marina in Olympia collapsed, sinking three moored boats.
A roof at the West Bay Marina in Olympia collapsed, sinking three moored boats. sbloom@theolympian.com

Wet, heavy snow is to blame for a series of roof collapses starting Monday evening.

Three boats sunk after roofs over two boat sheds at West Bay Marina collapsed.

Neil Falkenburg, the marina’s general manager, said crews had been shoveling snow off sheds in the water since Monday morning.

“The first one we shoveled was the first one to collapse,” he said.

That was about 6 p.m. Monday. Another roof collapsed about a half-hour later.

Ten other boats were under the collapsed roofs, some of which crews were able to move out of the way.

“Some of them have to be kind of freed from the metal work that held the roof up. That’s a lot more involved,” Falkenburg said Tuesday afternoon, adding all the owners had been notified.

Around midnight Tuesday, fire crews was dispatched to the South Sound Center Verizon store on Sleater Kinney Road Southeast in Lacey for a water flow alarm. They found a partial roof collapse that broke a sprinkler line, said Lacey Fire District 3 Battalion Chief Tim Hulse.

City of Lacey building official Wade Duffy checked the building about 7 a.m. Tuesday and marked it as unsafe to occupy. It will remain closed until repairs are complete, he said, but other areas of the South Sound Center roof were not damaged.

Flat roofs aren’t engineered to hold a lot of weight. Heavy snowfall followed by rain can create a lot of standing water, Hulse said.

Separately, a tent covering sand and salt at the city of Olympia’s maintenance center on Eastside Street Southeast collapsed under the weight of wet snow about 5 p.m. Monday, according to a city spokeswoman.