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Snow-covered buildings at risk of collapse as rain moves in, emergency crews on alert in El Dorado County

Approaching Sierra snow renews threat of roof collapses
Approaching Sierra snow renews threat of roof collapses 02:49

EL DORADO COUNTY — As rain moves into areas that received feet of snow, the weight on rooftops increases, along with the risk for buildings to collapse. Emergency crews in El Dorado County are upstaffed through Monday morning as part of the governor's emergency order, all for winter weather.

CBS13's Madisen Keavy reported live in Georgetown, where a collapsed awning highlights a risk businesses know all too well. 

"You have to get ahead of it, if people have any ability to get snow off the roof," said Georgetown Fire Chief Glenn Brown.

Collapsed buildings and awnings were enough to close the hardware store in Georgetown and block off parts of downtown. 

"This store is the lifeblood of this community," said Troy Neidigh, the store manager at Mar-Val Market.

Two holes in the ceiling at Mar-Val Georgetown, held up by wooden posts, mark what could've forced them to close.

"We call it storm shopping, everybody comes in super early to get their stuff," said Neidigh.


Drone footage shows just how much snow fell and had to be cleared off the top of the store. Two feet of snow was enough for the roof to start to cave in and potentially keep locals — some without power — from what they need. 

"Tri-tips, all kinds of hot foods, a lot of people out of power, so we're kind of doing the cooking for them," Neidigh said.

Georgetown's fire chief said now is the time to clear the snow off the roofs and said a post on social media for help to clear roofs is the quickest way to get it done safely. 

"We don't have the ability to do it. There's just too many in need. People are gonna need to do it themselves or contract it out," the chief said.

That tells you just how inundated the fire department is. They're even working with the county sheriff's office to make those welfare calls, knowing they'll be on around the clock through at least early next week.

In Georgetown and surrounding areas, crews are getting help from the Growlersburg Camp. Inmates that typically fight fires are working alongside the Georgetown Fire Department to remove snow on some commercial buildings.

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